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Number of Salmonella Cases on the Rise

By Daniel Cherry | Published 15 Jul 2011 06:44pm | comments
Health care officials say those eating outdoors need to be especially wary of salmonella

The Mississippi Department of Health is reporting a spike in the number of salmonella poisoning cases. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports on what residents can do to prevent catching the bacteria.

A class of four and five year olds from Little Dreamers Academy in Jackson are finishing up their turkey sandwiches at LaFleur's Bluff State Park.

Shalonda Lewis is the director of the academy. She's giving all of them a squirt of hand sanitizer before they go back to playing.

"They're exposed to so much right now. We enforce hand washing and making sure they try to stay away from getting so many germs. I know you cannot get away from all germs, but you're trying to get away from so many germs."

Lewis is doing just what health care providers are saying can protect residents from the recent increase of salmonella infections. Dr. Skip Nolan is the Infectious Disease Director at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He says salmonella lives in the intestines of animals. The bacteria is more suited to spread outside of an animal's body during the summer.

"It's just easier in warmer months for the bacteria to proliferate outside the intestines of animals, and we just see more contact with animals. People are outdoors more, and there is a well known seasonality with it."

Most infections come from eating raw or undercooked meats, poultry or eggs. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills, and abdominal pain. Dr. Nolan says the most effective way to prevent salmonella is to sanitize your hands often.

"The second is being very fastidious with food preparation, and the last thing is that although we're seeing a lot more of it, it generally is a self-limited illness. It's generally something, in the majority of cases, people get over after a few days of misery."

There were nearly 140 cases reported statewide in June.

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Health care officials say those eating outdoors need to be especially wary of salmonella


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