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BC experiencing Salmonella outbreak

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 11:32 PDT, Mon July 27, 2020

Five provinces, including BC, are currently experiencing an outbreak of Salmonella.

The source of the ongoing outbreak has not yet been identified, but Canada’s public health agency says it is collaborating with other health authorities to investigate why people are getting sick. 

Salmonella bacteria occur naturally in the intestines of animals, reptiles and birds, and are usually transmitted to people when they eat contaminated foods. While contaminated foods are often from animal sources—like poultry, beef, milk or eggs—they can also include fruits, vegetables and herbs.

As of Friday, there were 59 confirmed cases linked to the current outbreak, of which 23 were in BC. Individuals became sick between mid-June and mid-July.

While anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, some people are at higher risk for contracting serious illness. At-risk groups include children aged five and under, older adults, pregnant women or people with weakened immune systems.

People infected with Salmonella bacteria can pass the infection along to other people. Symptoms usually last for four to seven days, and can include:

• fever

• chills

• diarrhea

• abdominal cramps

• headache

• nausea

• vomiting

To prevent Salmonella infections, follow safe food handling tips. For more information from the Public Health Agency of Canada, click here.

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