A Salmonella outbreak associated with the Open Source Bridge Conference at the Eliot Center in downtown Portland has sickened 53 people, according to the Multnomah County Health Department. Nine cases are lab-confirmed.
The conference took place from June 23 to 26, 2015. The investigation is centering on about 100 different food items prepared through several catering sources. The food was served over a four-day period to about 500 people.
Deputy Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines said in a statement, “we believe this was an isolated event that did not occur beyond the conference. We are monitoring illness in Oregon to assure that this is the case.” Other states and the CDC have been informed of this outbreak.
The investigators are collecting survey data from 223 participants and lab testing from people who have been sickened. Officials are asking people what they ate in the days before they got sick.
Salmonella is a pathogenic bacteria that sickens 12 to 72 hours after exposure. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, along with nausea and vomiting. While most people recover after about a week, some become so ill they must be hospitalized. The illness can develop into serious complications including sepsis.
If you attended that conference and have been sick with the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, see your doctor. The outbreak has a better chance of being solved if more people participate in the surveys. And the long term complications of a Salmonella infection can be severe, including irritable bowel syndrome and arthritis, so it’s better if your doctor knows you contracted this illness.