Sal­mo­nella out­break study still un­der­way

Re­sults to be re­leased next week

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - By Rachel Oswald

The re­sults of a study on the source of the re­cent sal­mo­nella out­break should be avail­able in a week.

Ac­cord­ing to Ver­non Goins, pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer for the state Di­vi­sion of Pub­lic Health’s East Metro Health Dis­trict, the anal­y­sis of both the lab re­sults and the re­sults of a sur­vey of 150 in­di­vid­u­als who at­tended Sher­man’s Last Burn­ing should be com- pleted by Nov. 8.

The fi­nal ac­count of those re­port­ing symp­toms of sal­mo­nella is 62, he said. Twelve cases have been con­firmed as sal­mo­nella.

While the health de­part­ment is not draw­ing any con­clu­sions un­til the re­sults of the study are in, it is be­lieved that Sher­man’s Last Burn­ing — a week­end- long bar­be­cue cook- off from Oct. 12- 14 is the source of the out­break.

The event fea­tured 15 food ven­dors in­clud­ing the Cov­ing­ton Li­ons Club who sold bar­be­cue plates to the pub­lic. Other food ven­dors sold fun­nel cakes, pop­corn shrimp and other as­sorted fes­ti­val fare.

Goins said sci­en­tists with the Ge­or­gia Pub­lic Health lab­o­ra­tory are cur­rently look­ing at stool sam­ples from the con­firmed sal­mo­nella cases for com­mon­al­i­ties be­tween the species of sal­mo­nella.

The sta­tis­ti­cal anal­y­sis of the sur­veys will look for com­mon­al­i­ties among those re­port­ing sal­mo­nella poi­son­ing such as whether they at­tended the event on Thurs­day, Fri­day or Satur­day as well as specif­i­cally what they ate and from which ven­dors.

Ac­cord­ing to The Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre- ven­tion, sal­mo­nella is usu­ally trans­mit­ted to hu­mans through the con­sump­tion of foods con­tam­i­nated with an­i­mal fe­ces. Con­tam­i­nated foods usu­ally look and smell nor­mal and are of­ten of an­i­mal ori­gin such as beef, poul­try, milk and eggs. How­ever all food, in­clud­ing veg­eta­bles may be­come con­tam­i­nated.

While many raw foods of an­i­mal ori­gin are fre­quently con­tam­i­nated, thor­ough cook­ing does kill sal­mo­nella. Ad­di­tion­ally food may be­come con­tam­i­nated by the un­washed hands of an in­fected food han­dler who for­got to wash his/ her hands af­ter us­ing the bath­room.

Sal­mo­nella in­fec­tions usu­ally last five to seven days and of­ten do not re­quire treat­ment un­less the in­di­vid­ual be­comes se­verely de­hy­drated or the in­fec­tion spreads from the in­testines.

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