by Ron Simon
At least seven confirmed cases, including one fatality, have been reported by Hopkins County Health Department Director Denise Beach. Beach, who acknowledged that there are occasional cases of salmonella food poisoning in the county, conceded that such a high number of reports in a single week is clearly unusual and warranted a full investigation into the source of the outbreak. County officials are interviewing victims and have reported the outbreak to state officials. And while the source of the outbreak has not been identified, county officials are warning residents to practice safe food handling and to avoid high-risk foods in an effort to prevent additional infections.
Health Department Director Denise Beach also confirmed that these cases have been reported to state health officials and that this outbreak has been under investigation since the first case was received form medical personnel, adding that “we have our epidemiology nurse working on it, who has been since we first got reports.” The cultures from these individuals have been sent for additional testing to identify the strain of salmonella. Once they subtyping of the cultures are completed, health investigators will be able to see if persons in other counties are also tied to this outbreak. Major cities in and around Hopkins County, including Paduca, Madisonville, Paris, and Murray, are all outside Hopkins County.
While it remains too early to name the source, Beach is warning residents to avoid known carriers, such as raw meats, poultry, and eggs. Beach specifically warns residents against eating raw eggs, using utensils that have touched raw meat, and reminds residents that the best prevention is proper sanitation and hand washing.
Salmonella is usually passed through animal or human feces, and can be introduced into the food chain through improper hygiene, improper food handling and storage, unsanitary food production, manufacturing or preparation, or through cross-contamination. Individuals who have been sickened in a salmonella outbreak should seek medical attention, get tested for salmonella, and should call a salmonella lawyer to preserve important legal rights they may have. If you or a loved one has become ill from salmonella, call the salmonella lawyers at Ron Simon & Associates, at 713-335-4900 or 713-306-3880. As salmonella lawyers, we may be able to assist you in filing a salmonella lawsuit or claim.
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