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Salmonella outbreak affects hundreds

Posted in: Food Poisoning 

With over 150 people in England affected by Salmonella over the last few months, Public Health England is investigating the possible sources. Tests have already revealed that all the cases are linked to one particular source, but this has not yet been identified. The illness is usually linked to foods such as eggs and poultry, causing diarrhoea, stomach pains, sickness and fever. Most people are able to recover without treatment; however, one hospital has reported three deaths in relation to the outbreak.

Cases so far have been seen in London, Hampshire, Cheshire and the West Midlands. A total of 25 cases in London, 55 in Hampshire, 33 in Cheshire and 43 in West Midlands are being investigated by PHE. 34 of the 43 people affected in West Midlands were connected to an outbreak at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. A PHE spokesperson said that this particular strain of bacteria could also have affected people in Austria and France.

“more conclusive evidence”

The head of biological and biomedical science at Aston University, Professor Anthony Hilton, said that if all of the cases were proven to be from one source, the next step would be to pinpoint the common factors that link the infected individuals. This could be a particular foodstuff or event/activity.

Dr Paul Cleary, a consultant epidemiologist leading the PHE investigation, said: “We are working with our colleagues across Public Health England, at the Food Standards Agency, in local authorities and with other public health organisations in Europe to investigate the cause of this outbreak.” He added that they are making promising progress and should soon have “more conclusive evidence”.

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