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KDHE Identifies Cases Linked To Harvey County Salmonella Outbreak

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Harvey County Health Department are continuing to investigate a Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak in south-central Kansas. There are now 19 cases of the illness that have been linked to the outbreak, in three south-central Kansas counties, including 11 cases in Harvey County.

During the course of the investigation, the Acapulco Restaurant in Newton was identified as the probable source of the illness. KDHE and the Harvey County Health Department are interviewing patrons who developed symptoms of Salmonella infection, as well as those who did not become ill, after eating at the restaurant in the hopes of isolating the source of the outbreak. The exact cause has not been determined at this time.

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A food service inspection was performed at the restaurant on June 17, 2008, in response to the outbreak. The establishment was cited with four critical violations, including improper cold holding of food, improper date marking of held food, improper hand washing and the use of improper containers for food storage. All violations were corrected on site and do not require a follow up inspection.

Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

The Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak is not believed to be associated with the nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul.