December 10, 2022

Dozens of Drivers Sickened at Coachella Music Festival

Dozens of shuttle bus drivers at the Coachella Music Festival in Riverside County, California have been sickened with some type of food poisoning after eating a catered meal, according to the Riverside University Health System. The drivers work for a shuttle bus company.

Dozens of Drivers Sickened at Coachella Music Festival

The press release states that more than 40 people were taken to three hospitals in the Coachella Valley early on Monday, April 25, 2022 after they got sick. Symptoms include stomach cramps, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea. Some of those patients were admitted to the hospital. News reports are that a hundred people were sickened.

Investigators with the Riverside County Departments of Public Health and Environmental Health are collaborating to try to solve this outbreak. They want to interview as many people as possible who attended the dinner, whether or not they got sick. This can help narrow down the focus of the investigation.

Many of those who got sick live outside Riverside County and may have sought medical care from a medical provider or a hospital elsewhere. Health jurisdictions throughout Southern California have been alerted so potential patients can be interviewed.

Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside County Public Health said in a statement, “This could involve hundreds of interviews, but it is important to gather as much information as possible so that we can determine what happened and try to prevent it from happening again.”

It doesn’t seem that anyone who attended the Coachella Valley Festival were affected by this alleged outbreak. If you did attend that dinner, whether or not you got sick, please call a Public Health representative for an interview at 951-358-5107.

[Update: May 14th, 2022] Investigators believe that an enterotoxin produced by the Staphylococcal aureus bacteria (commonly called “Staph”) led to the illnesses after affected people ate food catered by a local company.

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