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Three Rivers Confirms Two Cases of Salmonella in Saunders & Washington Counties

Cases Likely Associated with Other Cases in the Omaha Area

Two cases of Salmonella were confirmed in Saunders and Washington Counties last week. On March 3, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported 14 lab confirmed cases, state-wide, with the probable source coming from an area distributor of alfalfa sprouts, CW Sprouts in Omaha.

The disease surveillance coordinator at Three Rivers District Health Department has been interviewing individuals in connection with reports of local cases and continues to monitor for any additional cases. The two confirmed cases appear to have no association with each other, and Three Rivers District Health Department is hopeful that there will not be any additional cases.

What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacterium. Salmonella bacteria are a major cause of food poisoning and infection from poultry, some produce, and particular kinds of pets (such as reptiles).

What are the symptoms?
Most commonly, Salmonella causes gastroenteritis with cramping, diarrhea, abdominal tenderness, vomiting, and fever. The diarrhea is usually watery, but may contain blood or mucus. Some of those infected will get very sick, with high fevers, headaches, confusion, and sometimes even seizures. When Salmonella bacteria get into the bloodstream, they can travel and cause infection throughout the body.

How long does it last?
The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they patient must be hospitalized. People at greater risk for severe illness include the elderly, infants and those with impaired symptoms.

Are there any preventative measures?
Preventative measures include: cooking eggs and meat until well done; washing produce thoroughly; avoiding all raw or unpasteurized milk or other dairy products; washing hands before and after handling food products; avoiding cross-contamination of foods by keeping raw meat separate from produce, cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods.

For more information on salmonella and how to help prevent the spread of infectious disease, contact Three Rivers District Health Department at (402) 727-5396, ext. 14, or visit www.threeriverspublichealth.org.

Three Rivers Confirms Two Cases of Salmonella in Saunders & Washington Counties

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