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Lander salmonella outbreak controlled, 10 cases counted

Dec 8, 2017 By Kelli Ameling, Staff Wrier

A salmonella outbreak reported in November is now under control, according to state health officials.

The Wyoming Department of Health says the illness did not spread outside of Lander, where a total of 10 confirmed cases were reported.

Last month there had been six confirmed cases, all from Lander.

"No new cases have been reported in the last two weeks," WDH spokeswoman Kim Deti said Dec. 1.

Deti said the outbreak was "likely introduced into a daycare by a sick child and then spread from there."

Salmonella

Fremont County Public Health information officer Teresa Nirider described salmonella as a bacterial infection that can be "very contagious." In a press release she said most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection, and the illness usually lasts four to seven days.

Most individuals recover without treatment, though in some cases the diarrhea can be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized, the press release states. In those cases, Nirider said, the infection can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and from there to other body sites, potentially causing death unless the person is treated quickly with antibiotics.

Such severe cases are more common in the elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems.

Precautions

The initial report about the outbreak came in to the public health office in Lander from an area health care provider, Nirider said.

"Generally a provider lets us know - whether it's a hospital or a doctor - they'll let us know we're seeing a cluster," she told The Ranger. "That's kind of what happened with this."

She said the report involved multiple "clusters" of gastroenteritis in several different settings, including child care centers and schools, where "several children" had presented with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Her press release said most of the sick people had reported bloody diarrhea lasting at least three days, fever, nausea and some vomiting.

Nirider said day care providers and child educators can take extra precautions to avoid transmitting illnesses like salmonella.

For example, she advised anyone responsible for diaper changing to wash their hands after tending to each child and to clean the surface used in between each changing.

Nirider added that sick people should make sure to stay home, wash their hands regularly and avoid contact with others.

"That's how these things get out of hand," she said. "You're shedding that virus every time you go to the bathroom, work, school, church, shopping. ... You need to stay home."

For more information call FCPH at 856-6979.

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