Salmonella case confirmed in Grand County |

Salmonella case confirmed in Grand County

The Grand County Public Health Department confirmed a local case of salmonella poisoning, but the case has not yet been linked to an ongoing multi-state outbreak of human salmonella Saintpaul infections, according to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

The food-borne illness allegedly came from produce at a Grand County restaurant last week, according to the victim’s mother.

The victim, whose name is being withheld at this time due to her employment at the suspected restaurant, spent five days fighting the illness in a Denver hospital.

The Grand County health department is investigating the case in accordance with state health guidelines, according to Grand County Public Health Director Brene Belew-LaDue, RN.

“As we investigate, if we find more cases with a common source the public will be notified immediately,” she said. “Grand County Public Health will inform the citizens how to take precautions and protect themselves.”

Salmonella is a common organism that leads to food-borne illness. It usually goes undetected as “stomach flu.”

Anyone can get it at any time of the year, but the illness is more common in summer when picnicking and barbecuing can lead to unsafe cooling practices and cross-contamination of meats and vegetables, according to Lori Maldonado, spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

Uncooked meats, raw eggs and contaminated produce are examples of possible sources. The organism can be transmitted to humans from food contaminated with animal feces, for example when manure is used as fertilizer.

Salmonella can be passed through the skin, Maldonado said.

Lab tests are being done in the local case, but Belew-LaDue says it is “too early to tell” whether the recent case of salmonella infection is the same strain of salmonella found in raw tomatoes linked to 57 confirmed illnesses since April in Texas and New Mexico.

An additional 29 people have been infected with the same strain of salmonella in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, but whether they are associated with tomato consumption is still being examined.

Colorado has had one confirmed case of salmonella with the same DNA fingerprint from those of the tomato strain, Maldonado said.

Preliminary data suggests large tomatoes, including Roma and red round, are the source of contamination in Texas and New Mexico, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Out of all cases to date, at least 17 were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. Infection is usually diagnosed by culture of a stool sample. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, according to the CDC. Severe cases have been known to lead to death.

If anyone has any questions or concerns, Grand County Public Health may be contacted by calling (970) 725-3288.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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