According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Salmonella outbreak at the Tarheel Q restaurant in Lexington, North Carolina has now sickened at least 262 people. Most of those sickened live in Davidson County.
Public health officials are still asking anyone who became ill with diarrhea within four days after they ate food or drank beverages at the Tarheel Q on or after Saturday, June 6, 2015, to call the Davidson County Health Department’s hotline at 336-242-2300. This information is crucial to determine the size of the outbreak.
Of the 262 sickened so far, patients live in 20 North Carolina counties and five other states. Of the North Carolina cases, 73% live in Davidson County and Davie County. Fifty-eight percent are male, 42% are between the ages of 20 and 49, 19% have visited a doctor, 12% have been to an emergency department, and 7% have been hospitalized. One person has died. Eighty-one percent of cases had illness onset dates between Tuesday, June 16, 2015 and Sunday, June 21, 2015.
Lab tests have revealed that a BBQ sample and a sample from a patient who was sickened at the start of the outbreak are both positive for the same variant of Salmonella Typhimurium. Both samples have the same PFGE pattern. More than 50 additional specimens are pending results at the state lab.
If you ate at that restaurant in June and have experienced the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, which include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting, please see your doctor. Most people recover within a week, but some become so ill they musts be hospitalized. And long-term complications of a Salmonella infection can be serious, including arthritis and heart disease, so it’s important that your doctor have a record of this illness.