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UCSB students feel effects of bacterial bout

A hangover is not the only thing making UCSB students sick in Isla Vista, as a recent outbreak of salmonella infections has students running for the toilet, reports the UCSB Daily Nexus.

Michele Mickiewicz, deputy director of the Public Health Dept., said there have been 75 lab-confirmed cases of salmonella in Santa Barbara County since January 2006. This number of cases is almost double the combined number of incidents in the past two years – there were 45 in 2004 and 40 in 2005.

Mickiewicz said the majority of confirmed cases for this outbreak were UCSB students.

She said a common way the bacteria are transferred is by an infected food industry worker handling food. “Hand-washing is the key to stopping the spread of these kind of diseases,” Mickiewicz said.

The Public Health Dept. has been investigating, but Mickiewicz said they have not found the source of the outbreak. She said the department does not believe a specific restaurant or business is to blame for spreading the bacteria, and that they are hopeful the outbreak is becoming less severe.