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Published On: Fri, Sep 4th, 2015

Montana health investigate Salmonella cluster

Montana health officials are investigating a cluster of Salmonella cases reported from eight different counties–Cascade, Fergus, Flathead, Gallatin, Lewis & Clark, Park, Musselshell and Yellowstone.

Salmonella image/CDC

Salmonella image/CDC

To date, eleven confirmed Salmonella cases with identical genetic markers and two suspected cases have been identified.

At this time, the investigation is ongoing. “Every effort is being made to identify a common source quickly and to protect consumers from any products or practices that may be unsafe,” says Dana Fejes, foodborne epidemiologist with the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Many of these types of outbreaks are foodborne-related, so Fejes reminds Montanans to always wash vegetables and cook meats appropriately. “Many people may be harvesting garden vegetables and enjoying burgers this time of year so please wash your vegetables and cook meats to proper temperatures to avoid foodborne diseases,” Fejes adds.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most individuals recover without treatment. In some cases, 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.

Anyone experiencing the symptoms above is encouraged to contact their health care provider.

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