Girl Recovering From Salmonella Poisoning

Mom Wonders If Daughter's Illness Is Connected To National Outbreak


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January 9, 2009

BOSTON -- Sara McInerney, 7, is back home and healthy after a scary bout of salmonella poisoning that she didn't know she had. That's because she was taking antibiotics for strep throat that caused the salmonella to try to hide by going into her bloodstream.

Girl Recovering From Salmonella

"It was very scary because the fevers just kept going up. Although she was on an antibiotic it just continued to go up," said Sara's mother, Paula McInerney.

Newscenter 5's Amalia Barreda reported that at one point, Sara's fever spiked to 107 degrees. She was rushed to Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, where she got aggressive intravenous treatment for four days. After she was released, the treatment continued at home for another 10 days.

Sara's mother said she wonders if her daughter's case is connected to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened hundreds of people in 42 states. And she is frustrated because she said health authorities have not contacted her.

"I thought that they should have at least contacted me to let me know, or to ask questions," said McInerney.

Dr. Al DeMaria of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said local health departments are supposed to follow-up cases of salmonella that are reported to them. DeMaria said there have been more than 30 cases in Massachusetts since the fall, but it takes time to figure out if they are all connected.

"The culture has to grow the salmonella. The salmonella then has to get from the laboratories to the state laboratories. It gets tested, it gets identified, it gets fingerprinted. We're talking about several weeks," said DeMaria.

Sara got sick the day before Thanksgiving but her mother doesn't believe it was the holiday dinner because everyone else was fine. McInerney suspects the culprit was chicken from a fast-food restaurant that she doesn't want to name unless health authorities name it first.



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