Three Colorado residents came down with typhoid fever—a potentially deadly disease more common to third-world countries—after a worker at a Qdoba restaurant likely touched their food after going to the bathroom without washing his or her hands, KDVR reports. The three victims—two of whom were hospitalized—ate at the chain restaurant's Firestone location in August, according to CBS Denver. Dr. Lisa Miller with the state's health department tells CBS the rare disease is contracted by ingesting something that has been in contact with contaminated feces. KDVR reports the worker believed responsible for infecting the three customers didn't have symptoms and likely didn't even know he or she had typhoid fever.
Chelsea Incorvaia tells KDVR her husband Ryan got such a bad headache after eating at the Firestone Qdoba they thought he had a tumor. He ended up being sick for a month and spending six days in the hospital. CBS reports the restaurant has remained open, though the infected worker is "no longer handling food at the restaurant," per a county health department rep. Qdoba issued a statement saying it increased sanitation procedures as a precaution. Though the victims ate the contaminated food in August, the typhoid fever wasn't discovered until recent weeks because of the long incubation period. According to the Denver Post, there have been no new cases reported since mid-October. It's been a bad week for popular Mexican restaurants: Chipotle was forced to close dozens of stores in Washington and Oregon over an E. coli outbreak. (Read more restaurant stories.)