13 Salmonella Cases Confirmed in Illinois Outbreak

The number of confirmed <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">Salmonella cases potentially linked to a restaurant in Illinois has increased to 13. According to Beacon News, the Health Department believes some of those who have fallen ill might have eaten at Portillo’s restaurant in St. Charles sometime during April.

The county Health Department said that it and the Illinois Department of Public Health, in collaboration with other local health departments, are investigating the Salmonella typhimurium outbreak that is growing in northeast Illinois, said the Beacon.

Of the 13 cases, seven are from Kane County, four from DuPage, one from Cook, and one from Minnesota. The potential common denominator is that most of those who fell ill—nine to date—reportedly ate at Portillo’s, reported the Beacon. Of the 13, nine are female, the age range is 17 to 64, and three were hospitalized, added the Beacon.

The Health Department’s recent press release stated that Portillo’s restaurant “is actively cooperating with the investigation, having cleaned and sanitized the building last Monday night and discarded all food items, except for samples collected by Kane County Health Department staff to send to the IDPH lab for testing,” quoted the Beacon. The Department also said that Portillo’s is covering the costs for the testing and results are expected in the next few days.

The Health Department described the increased Salmonella reports as “rare.” And, while investigations continue, no specific foods have been identified as the source of the outbreak. Before they can return to work, Health Department officials said food workers must provide two samples, which must be 24 hours apart, said My Suburban Life previously. The restaurant’s statement indicated that “all employees will be tested and will return to work only after they’ve received a clean bill of health,” quoted The Chicago Tribune.

Portillo’s has called in some of its workers from other locations so that the restaurant can remain operational will test results are being completed, said My Suburban Life, citing the restaurant’s press release.

Contamination with the Salmonella pathogen can cause salmonellosis, which can lead to serious consequences, most especially in the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems, who may experience a more serious illness and symptoms. In these patients, the infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites, and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that people suffering from salmonellosis usually experience symptoms beginning 12 to 72 hours after becoming contaminated. Symptoms may include fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea and usually last 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without antibiotic treatment; however, diarrhea can be very severe, and hospitalization may be required.

While most people recover without treatment or visiting a doctor, the Health Department is recommending anyone experiencing these symptoms and who ate at the St. Charles Portillo’s between April 15 and May 6 to call the Kane Health Department at 1.847.608.2128 or visit their personal physician.

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