According to KYUK News, the Alaska Division of Public Health is investigating a Salmonella outbreak in the Bethel area. Six confirmed cases of Salmonella have occurred in that area.
Louisa Castrodale, an epidemiologist with the state’s Public Health Division told KYUK “it’s not even the end of July and we had gotten about six cases of confirmed Salmonella from the Bethel-YK area. That’s a large number of cases for a short amount of time in a smaller location, so we were really concerned there was a common source for these infections.”
A team of public health officials from the state arrived in the area last Wednesday and will try to find a link or common source for the illnesses. The outbreak could be linked to a contamianted food product, or it could have spread by contact with a person who is sick with salmonellosis.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, abdominal and stomach pain, diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, chills, headache, and muscle pains. Symptoms usually begin six to seventy-two hours after exposure to the bacteria. Most people get better within a week, but some become so ill they must be hospitalized.
We don’t yet know if all of those people who are sick have the same strain of Salmonella. If they do, that is strong evidence that there is a common source for this outbreak.