A Massachusetts daycare remains closed days after a child was diagnosed with typhoid fever, a potentially life-threatening disease.
Bright Horizons daycare was notified on Tuesday that a student who attended the Quincy, Mass., center had been diagnosed with the disease, said Bright Horizons spokeswoman Bridget Perry.
MassLive reports Bright Horizons officials said the child was recently traveling abroad; officials do not believe the child contracted the illness at the center.
The daycare remained closed Friday as teachers were being tested, Perry told USA TODAY.
Typhoid fever was common in the United States before the invention of public sewage systems, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The disease can spread through contact with human waste or through tainted water, according to the Mayo Clinic. An infected person can spread the disease by touching food, if that person hasn’t washed their hands carefully after using the toilet.
Most current U.S. cases originate overseas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here’s what you should know about typhoid fever, according to the CDC:
- What is typhoid fever? It’s a serious, potentially life-threatening illness caused by bacteria. It usually presents with a sustained fever of 103 to 104 degrees.
- How common is it? There are about 5,700 cases a year in the United States, with about 400 of those cases confirmed by a laboratory.
- How serious is it? Worldwide, an estimated 200,000 people die from the disease a year. Almost all of those occur outside the United States.
- How does it spread? You can get typhoid fever by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person with the disease. It can also spread through sewage.
- How can you prevent typhoid fever? If you’re traveling to a country where typhoid is common, it’s best to get vaccinated against the disease, although vaccines aren’t completely effective. Practicing food safety such as avoiding risky foods and boiling water before you drink it are other ways of preventing typhoid fever.