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Salmonella Blog Surveillance & Analysis on Salmonella News & Outbreaks

Mystery Salmonella Illnesses in Seattle – King County

Seattle-King County Public Health Friday announced it is investigating a salmonellosis outbreak caused by Salmonella Stanley, an uncommon strain of Salmonella bacteria.

Six persons infected with Salmonella Stanley were reported to Public Health during July 17–July 24.

On July 26-27, genetic fingerprinting results for four of the six cases became available, and all had the same genetic fingerprint, suggesting that they have some common source of infection; genetic fingerprinting for the other two cases is pending.

This fingerprint has only been seen twice before in King County where two to six cases of Salmonella Stanley have been reported annually over the past several years. Public Health is attempting to interview each case to gather information about possible risk factors for infection.

The source of the outbreak is still under investigation.

The median age of the cases is 21 years; three cases are female and three are male. None of the cases are known to have been hospitalized. Additional details on the investigation will be posted as they are available.

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that is often spread through the fecal-oral route, through contaminated food and water, or through contact with animals and their environments. Symptoms of salmonellosis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, chills, and abdominal cramping. Illness typically lasts several days and people can spread infection to others even after symptoms resolve.

To prevent Salmonella infection:

  • Wash hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, touching animals, and before eating or preparing food.
  • Cook all meats thoroughly, especially poultry.
  • Wash cutting boards and counters used for meat or poultry preparation immediately after use to avoid cross contaminating other foods.