According to a Deseret News report yesterday, a migrant boy who had been detained at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection camp came to Utah with typhoid fever last month. The child was hospitalized with a severe case in Salt Lake County soon after arriving in Utah.

Salmonella serotype Typhi
Typhoid image/CDC

He was treated and fully recovered and released after a week.

Health officials say there is no additional threat of the disease in Utah from this case.

Typhoid fever is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhiSalmonella typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed S.typhi in their feces.

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You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding S. typhi or if sewage contaminated with S. typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.

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Typhoid fever can be successfully treated with appropriate antibiotics, and persons given antibiotics usually begin to feel better within 2 to 3 days.