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Texans Among Those In Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak

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CBS DFW (con't)

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – At least three Texans have fallen ill in a multi-state outbreak of salmonella poisoning.

More than 90 people so far, in 19 states, have gotten sick, including ten that had to be hospitalized.

About a quarter of those sickened told federal health officials that they had eaten sort of sushi within a week of falling ill.

Chris Van Deusen, with the Texas Department of State Health Services, said health officials here are collaborating with ones from the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration.

“Folks in Texas we haven’t identified a source of this but that’s what the investigation is about,” said Van Deusen. “So that’s where we are at this point, just trying to determine what the source of this contamination was.”

Chris Van Deusen with the Texas Department of State Health Services says they’re still not sure if sushi is the culprit but the kind of salmonella makes it easier to identify.

While sushi has not been positively identified as the contamination source, officials say the type of salmonella involved is unusual.

“It’s called Salmonella Bareilly and it’s not one of the more common strains so that’s one of the things that makes it jump out to our epidemiologists,” said Van Deusen. “It makes it perhaps a little easier to connect the dots on something like this.”

In a memo released by the FDA the outbreak was called “rapid and expanding.”

As it stands, the investigation is focused on six clusters of restaurants in Texas, Wisconsin, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever and the illness can be life threatening to people with weakened immune systems.

So far, no deaths have been reported.

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