21st July 1969

Typhoid suspect holidaymaker flies home

Amanda Franklin received some shocking news when on holiday in Guernsey. Her local paper, the Birmingham Daily Post, had tracked her down and informed her that she might be carrying typhoid.

There was seemingly some initial confusion as to where, exactly, Amanda was on holiday. On 19 July, under the headline “Holiday girl may have typhoid”, The Times wrote,

Dr David Livington, Medical Officer of Health for Leamington Spa, said yesterday that Miss Amanda Franklin, aged 24, who is touring on the Continent, may be carrying typhoid… Miss Franklin was ill after a previous continental holiday.

This previous illness, which has occurred fairly recently, was of interest to health authorities because, as reported by the Daily Mirror the day before she was located, “it is possible to suffer a mild attack of typhoid and carry the disease afterwards”.

However, Amanda who had been on holiday for just over a week, had started out on Jersey the previous Monday before coming across to Guernsey. She hadn’t seen any papers or listened to the radio, so the news came as a shock. In part, this had been caused by fog keeping the papers away.

“Before flying home, I told Miss Franklin that she was a possible typhoid carrier and that doctors caring for her 30-year-old brother David, ill in hospital with the disease, wanted to see her urgently,” wrote Birmingham Daily Post reporter Michael Ward.

News that her brother, a lieutenant, was ill wasn’t the surprise. Amanda had sent him a get well card – it was what he was suffering from that came as a shock.

Fortunately, initial tests performed when she got home revealed her chances of having the disease were very slim.

What is typhoid?

Also known as typhoid fever, it has a six to 30-day incubation period. It is related to salmonella.

When symptoms appear they initially include abdominal pain, constipation (or diarrhoea), occasional vomiting and, sometimes, rose-coloured spots on the skin. After that, things start to get worse, with a high fever and delirium. The patient’s stools will often turn green and soup-like. In the third week (of the four that an untreated infection usually lasts), the intestines can become perforated and the patient may haemorrhage internally. They can suffer pneumonia and inflammation of the brain.

It’s spread by eating or drinking anything contaminated by the feces of someone else who is already infected. Treatment is usually by means of antibiotics.


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