Spike in salmonella cases concerns B.C. health officials

Majority of cases in Vancouver area; no links to U.S outbreak, say officials

Monday, July 28, 2008

Source of Article:  http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/07/28/bc-salmonella-spike-vancouver.html


A spike in salmonella cases in the Vancouver area has health officials concerned.

"In the past two months, we have seen over 60 cases of infection, all due to the same strain of salmonella," said Dr. Eleni Galanis, the physician epidemiologist with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

So far health officials have not determined the source of the outbreak, but have ruled out a direct connection to the recent outbreak in the U.S.

"This strain, different from the one causing the salmonella outbreak in the U.S., had only 39 cases reported in total for 2007, so seeing 60 cases in two months is a cause for concern," says Galanis.

"While the cause for this increase has not yet been confirmed, a detailed investigation is underway, which includes thorough interviews with all cases and testing of potentially contaminated food to try to identify the source," said Galanis.

In the recent outbreak in the U.S., close to 1,000 people became ill from salmonella, which was linked to tomatoes and peppers, resulting in an estimated $100-million loss to farmers and the food industry.

Health officials advise people to wash their hands thoroughly, along with all surfaces and kitchen utensils, before cooking, and to avoid cross-contamination between meats and other foods.


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