Chabad typhus claims disproved


Medical documents provided by Chabad appear to disprove claims by Israeli health officials that food served at Chabad Houses in Nepal was contaminated with typhus. Earlier this month, five Israelis in their 20s who returned from separate trips to Nepal were hospitalized in Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer after contracting stomach typhus. Because the travelers had stayed in Chabad Houses in Nepal, health officials assumed the source of their sickness was contaminated food served there. However, a medical investigation conducted by Chabad under the supervision of Prof. Eli Schwartz, director of the Center for Geographic Medicine at Tel Hashomer, seemed to refute those claims. Chabad provided The Jerusalem Post with documentation last week proving that none of its kitchen workers was carrying typhus. "During the Succot holiday thousands of people ate in Chabad Houses in Katmandu and Pokhara," announced Rabbi Yechezkel Lifshitz, head of the two Chabad Houses. Both are major way-stations for post-army Israeli backpackers who receive free food, shelter and support. "If the source of the typhus were from Chabad, hundreds of cases would have been reported, which never happened," he said. Chabad sources said that the claims made against the Nepal-based Chabad Houses spread panic among dozens of Israelis and their families.