salmonella2 300WESTERN KENTUCKY (9/27/13) — There are now 15 suspected cases of salmonella related illness in Hopkins, Webster and Muhlenberg counties as of Friday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

There was a case in Christian County that was being considered as part of 13 suspected cases reported Thursday but it has been ruled as not associated with the current outbreak.

The 15 suspected cases now include some from Muhlenberg County.

"It's not unusual for case counts to migrate up and down during an investigation," said Gwenda Bond with the CHFS. "Christian County is not connected at this time. We did have a possible case on our list, but it was determined not to be associated."

Out of the 15 suspected cases, eight have now been identified as having the same genetic fingerprint.

"We have 15 total suspect cases," said Bond. "Of those, eight have been matched specifically by fingerprint to the outbreak pattern."

Bond said the investigation is continuing and that the source of the outbreak has not yet been identified. Each new suspect case includes a food history from the victim as part of the investigation, said Bond.

"Anytime there is a food-borne illness, we do an investigation to determine the source," said Bond. "Proper food handing along with frequent hand washing are still the best ways to prevent the illness."

Bond said anyone with symptoms — diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps — should contact their healthcare professional.

According to Denise Beach, director of the Hopkins County Health Department, the linked cases have been identified by the state CHFS as Type B Typhimurium.

Beach said only cases with a Hopkins County address are classified as Hopkins County cases.
 
"If someone contracts the illness here but they are traveling through, they are not counted as Hopkins County," she said.

Rita Dukes
SurfKY News

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