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50 People Sick After Basketball Game in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Health reports that it is investigating a possible link between a foodborne illness outbreak and a Tuesday evening basketball game in Pierre.

About 50 people have been reported ill with a diarrheal illness, the health department said in a news alert.


In coordination with school districts in Pierre and Mitchell, the department said it is working to collect food histories from those who are ill and will be testing stool samples to identify an organism. No food from the event has been submitted for testing.


An electronic foodborne Illness questionnaire was being distributed Thursday in the Pierre high school and middle school for staff and students. The questionnaire is intended to get a clear picture of how many people are ill, how severe the illness is and how long it lasts, the incubation period and the potential food source.

Individuals who were at the game but not part of the school system were also encouraged to complete the questionnaire at the department’s website, doh.sd.gov.

South Dakota said it reported nearly 500 cases of foodborne illness such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli in 2011. There were also cases of nororvirus, which is not a reportable illness.

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