Quincy Day Care Remains Closed After Child Becomes Ill With Typhoid Fever

A day care center in Quincy, Massachusetts, remained closed on Friday after a child was recently diagnosed with typhoid fever.

Officials with the state Department of Public Health confirmed that the child who attends the Bright Horizons Daycare and preschool at 1 Enterprise Drive in North Quincy has the disease.

A spokesperson for Bright Horizons said the day care was notified about the diagnosis on Tuesday and was closed Wednesday and Thursday. It will remain closed Monday.

Day care officials don't believe the child contracted typhoid at Bright Horizons, as the child recently traveled abroad. But since it is food and water borne, they are taking every precaution.

Teachers are being tested to make sure they don't have the disease. Students who are in the class with the infected child will not be allowed to come back without being tested.

"It is concerning, but they did send us emails with the details of what to look out for and all that," said Hala Abdel-Baky, whose daughter attends day care at Bright Horizons in North Quincy. "She seems fine to me right now, but they did say it shows up a week later or something like that."

According to the CDC, typhoid fever is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by salmonella typhi bacteria. It causes a high fever, fatigue, weakness, stomach pains, headache, loss of appetite and sometimes a rash.

Dr. Mary Montgomery, an infectious disease physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, has seen a case of typhoid fever while working abroad in Uganda. She said it is common in parts of the world with poor sanitation, but parents in Quincy should not panic if their children test positive.

"The most important thing is to know that their child is going to be OK," Dr. Montgomery said. "If they continue to never have symptoms and their testing is negative, great, but if they do test positive, they can be appropriately treated and cured with antibiotics."

If left untreated, typhoid can kill up to 30 percent of people who get it. An estimated 5,700 cases occur each year in the U.S. Most are acquired while traveling internationally.

It's still unclear when the day care will reopen.

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