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22 August 2013, 11:58
Public Health Wales and Environmental Health Officers from Gwynedd Council and Conwy County Borough Council are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella.
22 people have been diagnosed since the middle of July, 20 of those have been confirmed as the same unique strain. Five people had to be treated in hospital.
The outbreak is mainly centred in Conwy and Gwynedd with investigations ongoing to find where the outbreak started.
Anyone who lives in, or has visited, North West Wales since the middle of July and is experiencing diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever should contact their GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647.
Dr Judy Hart, Consultant in Public Health from Public Health Wales said: “Although it is an unpleasant illness, people who become ill with Salmonella generally make a full recovery.
“Salmonella is usually contracted by eating food like red and white meats, raw eggs, milk and other dairy products which contain the bacterium, usually following cross-contamination of cooked food by raw food or by failing to ensure food is properly stored and cooked before it’s eaten.
“We are working with Environmental Health Officers to investigate the possible cause of the outbreak and will continue to monitor the situation.”
Public Health Wales has issued advice to manage diarrhoea and vomiting and prevent the spread of diseases:
- Careful hand washing is the most important prevention measure that you can take.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water and dry afterwards.
- Do not share towels. ·
- Use gloves when handling soiled articles from ill people. ·
- Wash soiled clothing and bed linen on ‘hot cycle’.
- If looking after someone with a gastrointestinal illness, carefully disinfect toilet seats, flush handles, wash-hand basin taps and toilet door handles daily and after use.
- Use a bleach-based household cleaner, diluted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. ·
- Maintain good personal hygiene and hygienic preparation and serving of food.
- If you have a gastrointestinal illness, don’t return to school or work, especially if you are a food handler or work with vulnerable groups, until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours.
- Your local authority will be able to offer further advice.
- Don't visit patients in local hospitals and long-term care facilities.
- While many people tend to feel better sooner, illness can still be spread if they return to work or school within 48 hours since the last symptom.
- GPs across North Wales have been advised of the outbreak and asked to consider laboratory testing of people with diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever.