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Update on Salmonella Cases in Watauga County

June 10, 2014. The investigation into reports of illness associated with the Salmonella outbreak after eating at a restaurant in Boone is ongoing.  The number of people reporting symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever, within three days of having eaten at Proper has been growing.  As of 1pm on Monday, June 9th, there were 37 individuals with signs and symptoms consistent with Salmonellosis.  Seven of these individuals are confirmed cases.  None have been hospitalized and none died.

The Health Department is asking anyone who ate food or drank beverages from Proper Restaurant (142 S Water Street, Boone, NC) on or after Saturday, May 17, and started having diarrhea within three days of eating or drinking to call the department at 828-264-6635. If individuals call after hours or on the weekend, they should stay on the line to be connected to our on-call staff.

To stop the further spread of the illness, the Health Department advises that meats and eggs be thoroughly cooked before eating, only consume products that have been pasteurized, and thoroughly wash hands after dealing with animals, before eating or preparing foods for others, and after using the restroom.

Ill people need to make sure they are staying hydrated and should seek medical care from their private doctor, urgent care or emergency room if their diarrhea and/or vomiting symptoms don’t improve.

SALMONELLOSIS (commonly called “Salmonella infection”) is an infection caused by bacteria called Salmonella. It is transmitted by food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces of an infected animal or person.  Many animals carry Salmonella and it doesn’t make them sick.  It can also be found in unpasteurized egg and milk products.  It is commonly transmitted via the fecal-oral route, from one infected person to another. Symptoms may be mild and a person can continue to carry Salmonella for weeks after symptoms have subsided.

Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever, and abdominal cramps 6 to 72 hours after infection.

– The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In some cases, the person must be treated with antibiotics.

– Salmonellosis affects all age groups. Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. Groups at greatest risk for severe or complicated disease include infants, the elderly, and persons with compromised immune systems.

– Salmonellosis is more common in the summer than winter.

– There is no vaccine to prevent salmonellosis.

– The best ways to prevent the spread of this illness is to avoid preparing food for others while ill, thoroughly cook meat and egg products, do not consume unpasteurized eggs and milk products, and hand washing, especially after using the bathroom and before handling or preparing food.

For additional information about Appalachian District Health Department, please call 828-264-6635 or visit our website at www.apphealth.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.