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Dozens of people in B.C. have been hit with Salmonella infections

An outbreak of Salmonella Newport illness has affected 59 people in five provinces, including 23 in B.C. between mid-June and mid-July.

There were 31 cases in Alberta, three in Manitoba and one each in Ontario and Prince Edward Island, according to a Public Health Agency of Canada news release.

Information available on 28 of the cases show six people were hospitalized but there have not been any deaths.

“At this time, the source of the outbreak has not been identified, but health and food safety partners are investigating what is making people sick,” the news release states. “The outbreak is ongoing, as recent illnesses continue to be reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada.”

An outbreak with a similar genetic fingerprint is being investigated in the U.S.

Salmonella illness generally comes from contaminated food, most often meat but it can also be found in fruits, vegetables and herbs.

“In an effort to prevent further illnesses, Canadians are advised to wash their hands frequently and use safe food handling practices to prevent Salmonella infections,” the release states.

Symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headaches, nausea and vomiting.

“These symptoms usually last for four to seven days,” the release states. “In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment, but sometimes antibiotics may be required. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. People who experience symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care provider.”