December 17, 2017

Salmonella Food Poisoning Outbreak in Fremont County, Wyoming

The Wyoming Department of Health is investigating a gastrointestinal outbreak in Fremont County in the central part of that state. There have been reports of multiple clusters of gastroenteritis in several facilities, including schools and child care centers. This outbreak may be because of Salmonella food poisoning. Most Salmonella outbreaks are eventually linked to contaminated food.

Salmonella outbreak

Most of the patients have reported experiencing bloody diarrhea that is lasting for at least three days, some vomiting, and fever in this Salmonella outbreak. Those are symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning. Some of those sickened have tested positive for infection with that bacteria. But not all of the ill persons have a Salmonella infection, and some have not been tested. Officials also say that it is likely that not all clusters of illness are related.

Public health officials are asking that anyone who feels sick see their healthcare provider. Your doctor will determine if you need testing and treatment. Most of these infections don’t need treatment with antibiotics, and if you have an E. coli infection, antibiotic treatment is contraindicated.

Officials from the Health Department are contacting people who have attended schools and daycare centers where children have been sick. If you have questions about these illnesses, call Katie Bryan at 307-241-2319.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Most people get sick within 12 t0 72 hours after they have been exposed to the bacteria. Most people get better within a few days to a week. And most people recover without medical intervention.

But some people do become so ill, either with sepsis (blood infection) or dehydration that they must be hospitalized. There is no word on whether or not anyone has been hospitalized in this particular outbreak.

People who are most seriously affected by this illness include children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and those with chronic illnesses. And the long term complications of this illness can be serious, even if a patient recovers completely, including reactive arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and high blood pressure.

 

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