As of October 21, officials with the Louisiana Department of Health are providing the most recent case counts of individuals who have been identified with a gastrointestinal illness related to the Salmonella outbreak in Caldwell Parish.
- 149 people have been identified with gastrointestinal illness.
- It is expected that additional cases will be identified.
- 37 people have been hospitalized.
- One death has been reported. Health officials are conferring with the pathologist conducting the autopsy and CDC to determine whether or not the death can be attributed to the outbreak.
- The ages of those with a confirmed illness range from 15 years old to 72, and mean age is 39.
A second bacteria contributed to the mass food poisoning in Caldwell Parish. In addition to the Salmonella already found in stool samples submitted to the state, Clostridium perfringens, a bacterium commonly found on raw meat and poultry, has been identified.
Symptoms, treatment and guidance from the Department of Health remain the same.
Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. Most people recover from Salmonella without treatment, but symptoms may be so severe that it is necessary to go to the hospital. Older adults, infants, and those who have impaired immune systems are at highest risk.
Health officials urge residents to contact their doctor or healthcare provider if these symptoms exist:
- Diarrhea and a fever over 101.5°F.
- Diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving.
- Bloody stools.
- Prolonged vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down.
- Signs of dehydration include making very little urine, dry mouth and throat, and dizziness when standing up.
Reporting an Illness
Epidemiologists with the Louisiana Department of Health are contacting people known to have purchased food from the fundraiser, and are asking anyone else who might have eaten the jambalaya to call (800) 256-2748.
Salmonella bacteria are found in some foods such as raw chicken, turkey, beef, pork, other meat, eggs, and unpasteurized milk products.
Infected people and animals, especially reptiles (like iguanas and turtles), ducks, and chickens can also have Salmonella in their feces. Infected people may spread the bacteria to others through their feces for several weeks or more, even after they feel better.