April 26, 2018

Buncombe County Salmonella Paratyphi B Outbreak Grows; Strain Less Severe

According to the Buncombe County Department of Health, there are now 40 cases of Salmonella ParatyphiB in that county. Test results have confirmed that particular bacteria is causing the outbreak. But further testing shows that this particular strain of bacteria causes an illness with “symptoms that are less severe, and which don’t require control measures that are quite as strict.”

Disease control nurses are contacting twelve of the positive cases, who have been restricted from work, telling them they may be able to return to work. In addition, because this strain is less severe, new cases in the outbreak won’t need a course of antibiotics unless they have other special health issues.

Testing continues to determine the specific strain of Salmonella in the unpasteurized tempeh recalled by Smiling Hara. Public health authorities cannot assure people that if they avoid that tempeh they will not get sick, since there are three groups of patients in this outbreak:

  • Patients who have eaten the tempeh.
  • Patients who have not eaten the tempeh but have come into contact with those who are already sick.
  • Patients who do not fall into either of the two groups.

The newest cases are being spread person-to-person. Public health officials continue to tell the public to take precautions with food preparation and their health. People should always wash their hands before, during, and after preparing food, cook food fully, seek medical attention if they do get sick, and dispose of the recalled tempeh.

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