Oklahoma salmonella outbreak: investigations on to trace source

Posted on Oct 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

by Neka Sehgal Health officials monitoring the Oklahoma outbreak have identified a similar strain of salmonella in several Iowa and Nebraska residents. They are suspecting that all the illnesses might be part of a larger outbreak. The cause of the salmonella outbreak that has sickened fifteen in Oklahoma State in the month of September is still unknown.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), 12 of the cases were reported from four Mustang schools in the Canadian Country, including two fresh cases identified Friday among elementary-age children.

The cases include children at Centennial, Lakehoma, Mustang Valley elementary schools and the city’s pre-Kindergarten school.

In addition, three people from outside Mustang have been confirmed as ill by salmonella. These include a youngster from the Carter Country and two adults from the Oklahoma City with one seeking medical intervention in a hospital.

Laurence Burnsed, an epidemiologist with OSDH, disclosed that the strain of salmonella linked with the outbreak is Java.

Health officials monitoring the Oklahoma outbreak have identified a similar strain of salmonella in several Iowa and Nebraska residents. They are suspecting that all the illnesses might be part of a larger outbreak.

The health officials are trying to trace the source of the outbreak which started in early September. Tracking the culprit is tricky business, since most of the poultry, cheese, and eggs are considered the common cause of salmonella strain

Investigations on to trace source of contamination

The health officials are trying to trace the source of the outbreak which started in early September.

Tracking the culprit is tricky business, since most of the poultry, cheese, and eggs are considered the common cause of salmonella strain.

No specific food has been identified so far. In order to piece together a pattern of illness, health officials spent Friday questioning ill adults, parents of ill children, as well as 45 healthy people to find out what they all have in common.

The focus is to learn what the people have eaten at home and at school.

Comparing the activities and eating habits of people will help investigators determine where they could have bought the food that caused the sickness.

Burnsed said it’s difficult to say how long it will take to pin point the source of the contamination.

Burnsed stated, “It’s still too early in the investigation. If we do identify a specific source and there’s guidance for the public, we’ll certainly provide that.”

A little about salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is an acute bacterial infection that can cause diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.

The symptoms usually occur within 12-72 hours after consuming tainted food.

The illness lasts for a period of four to seven days, and most people recover without medical intervention.

However, in severe cases, the infection can spread from the intestines to the blood stream, sometimes leading to hospitalization and death.

Infants, the very old, and those with a vulnerable immune system are more likely to develop complications.