The Salmonella outbreak associated with the July 3, 2016 Good Vibe Tribe Luau and recalled Kapowsin Meats pork has now sickened at least 15 people in Washington state. Seattle and King County state that traceback information about the pork came from Kapowsin Meats, which was involved in a large Salmonella outbreak in 2015.
Aa of 7/21/16, four people are confirmed ill with Salmonella infections with the same pulsed field-gel electrophoresis (PFGE) genetic fingerprint as the outbreak strain. Four patients have been confirmed with a Salmonella illness, but the PFGE pattern testing is pending. And seven people have symptoms that are consistent with a Salmonella infection, but no testing has been done.
Since Salmonella infections usually manifest a few days after exposure to the bacteria, if anyone was at that Luau and ate the pork and has not gotten sick, they probably won’t. But there may still be ill persons out there who have not gone to a doctor.
Food for the Luau was catered by Mojito, a Seattle establishment. Inspectors went to that facility on July 13, 2016 to inquire about food sources and preparation methods. There is no word on the results of those inspections.
If you or a family member attended the Luau, even if you didn’t get sick, please fill out an online survey for the health department. Clues from those who did get sick, along with those who didn’t, may help solve this outbreak.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, muscle pains, and blood in the stool. Most people recover on their own within a week, but some become so ill they must be hospitalized. Those who are hospitalized are usually seriously dehydrated, or they may have a blood infection called sepsis. There is no word on whether or not any of those patients sickened in this current outbreak have been hospitalized.
Even if you do recover fully from this type of infection, Salmonella patients can suffer from long term complications. Those may include Reiter’s Syndrome, which can cause reactive arthritis, along with high blood pressure and irritable bowel syndrome. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor if you do have food poisoning.