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Rural Missouri Hospital reports salmonella outbreak



Missouri's Perry County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) reports at least 23 cases of salmonella diagnosed since 6 August. And more than 30 cases could be involved in the outbreak, reports the Perry County Health Department, which does not yet know the source of the infections.

Age of the patient ranges from 2 to 68. Cases have presented to the PCMH ER and through the local medical practices. Three of these cases required acute hospital admission, two short-term hospitalizations and treatments, and one case was transferred to a Cape hospital. To date, the other patients recover with medication and hydration at home.

PCMH is located in Perryville, MO, with a population of less than 9,000 people.

After identifying this influx of patients, the PCMH Laboratory Director reported on the case information to local and state health officials under state law. The Perry County Health Department immediately began to prepare the investigation of this outbreak and will work on the evidence that will hopefully determine the source and / or cause of the disease. The State Laboratory will receive culture samples of the infected patients to carry out their epidemiological investigation.

The symptoms of Salmonella infection are high fever, diarrhea, bloody stools, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and severe dehydration. Some patients may have some, but not all, symptoms while others may experience such symptoms. The incubation period for the bacteria is about 12 to 72 hours. If patients have these symptoms, they should seek medical help to get a test to confirm their diagnosis. Knowledge of infection and early treatment are crucial to prevent serious illness and the spread of the disease. Patients with symptoms of severe dehydration; Dizziness, weakness, fainting, confusion and difficulty breathing should seek emergency care.

Salmonella are highly contagious and are generally contracted by eating contaminated food. Transmission from human to human can also occur through contamination of hands or objects with bacteria released in the stool. It is a bacterium that can survive on surfaces, resulting in extensive transmission over time. The best way to avoid the contraction and spread of bacteria is to use a good hand washing technique and avoid the contact between human and person with an infected individual. If contact with an infected person is known, thorough cleaning of preparation areas and bathroom surfaces is recommended. Cleaning solutions containing bleach are most effective against Salmonella. Diarrhea must be resolved for at least 24 hours without the use of a diarrhea remedy before returning to work, daycare or school.

Special attention should be given to the elderly, immunocompromised patients and young children. These individuals can quickly dehydrate and succumb to other health risks if they have a severe infection.

In July, the PCMH lab introduced a new, highly specialized gastrointestinal tract test panel, which was very useful in these cases. The GI panel quickly detects 22 of the most common organisms that cause diarrhea. This panel provides information about treating patients in 1 to 3 hours compared to traditional chair culture tests, which typically last 3 to 5 days. This test helps a doctor to diagnose the cause of abdominal symptoms, most commonly diarrhea, more accurately and efficiently than conventional tests. Rapid identification of the right infectious agent can ensure appropriate treatment and treatment of a disease, thus helping to limit its spread within the community.

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