A cluster of indigenous typhoid fever cases in the greater Lille area, in January 2009, triggered investigations to identify the contamination source and to optimize care for infected individuals.
A case was defined as a person, living in the greater Lille area of, having presented with symptoms of typhoid fever, from January to March 2009.
Sixteen cases of typhoid fever were identified between January 23 and March 22, 2009. Patients, none of whom had travelled, had all participated in a common meal on January 10, 2009. A woman, who helped prepare the meal and who had previously stayed in an endemic zone, was detected as the asymptomatic carrier of Salmonella Typhi.
In France, although typhoid fever remains essentially an imported disease, there is a risk of indigenous epidemic and its diagnosis can be suggested for individuals who have not travelled. The features of this cluster illustrate the importance of respecting basic rules of hygiene in catering.