COLORADO SALMONELLA outbreak: Local doctors weigh the weight of salmonella outbreaks

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – A salmonella outbreak that has afflicted dozens of people in 14 states is linked to a fishing company in Denver that distributed to restaurants and supermarkets in Colorado. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 82 out of the 102 cases are currently in Colorado.

“When we start to see a cluster of cases, the health department will track back to see where it came from,” said Dr. Eric Hill, an emergency physician at Aurora Medical Center.

Hill said salmonella has similar symptoms to other stomach ailments or infections and can go undiagnosed.

“The vast majority of cases for someone who comes to the hospital for gastrointestinal stress are vomiting and diarrhea. We do not automatically test for these types (salmonella) of bacterial infections, ”said Hill.

He stated that the only way to confirm if anyone has salmonella or if an outbreak occurs is to get stool samples from patients.

“If these cultures come back positive for salmonella, it’s a reportable condition for the health department,” Hill said.

Salmonella symptoms

The CDC encourages anyone experiencing the following symptoms to contact a physician immediately:

  • Diarrhea and fever higher than 102 ° F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that does not improve
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you can not hold fluids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
  • Not tipping much
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Dizziness when standing up

If an outbreak is confirmed by health professionals, he said doctors in areas with confirmed cases will often treat patients for salmonella before testing. Hill said antibiotics used to treat the disease are the same ones used to treat other stomach infections.

“It can take several days or many people who show symptoms before they start ordering these tests and realize there is a Salmonella outbreak in that area,” Hill said.

Hill said throughout his career that he has often, if not all cases, seen salmonella in teens or younger. He said he is not 100% positive which is why he has seen several cases of children. He said it could either be related to children’s immune system or what the children are eating.

Recalled products

The CDC advises anyone who has recalled products at home to throw them away and wash surfaces or containers that may have touched them.

  • Haddock
  • Monkfish
  • Boneless trout
  • Grouper
  • red snapper
  • Red Rock cod
  • Sea bass
  • Pacific cod
  • Halibut
  • Coho salmon
  • Portions of Atlantic salmon
  • Lane snapper
  • Tilapia
  • All natural salmon
  • Filet
  • Pacific sole
  • Farm-raised striped bass

14 Colorado counties affected in salmonella outbreaks

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 82 cases have been reported in the following counties:

  • Adams (3)
  • Arapahoe (6)
  • Boulder (8)
  • Broomfield (3)
  • Denver (19)
  • Douglas (7)
  • Eagle (3)
  • El Paso (2)
  • Large (1)
  • Jefferson (6)
  • Larimer (13)
  • Along (4)
  • Summit (1)
  • Welding (6)

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