Nebraska health officials want the public’s help with an investigation of a possible outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses in and around the Beaver City.
Even people who have not been sick are being asked to complete a survey, which includes questions about consuming unpasteurized milk, sources of tap water and dining at area restaurants.
“If your residence has a Beaver City address and zip code, we are asking each person in your household to complete the following survey — parents should fill out the survey on behalf of each child in the household. Also, we would like surveys from others whose workplace has a Beaver City address and zip code,” according to a notice from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) and Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department.
“So we can compare possible exposures, it is equally important for people who live both in and out of Beaver City limits to complete all questions. It is also important for people who didn’t get sick to fill out the survey too. The information provided in this survey will better help us understand patterns of illness, investigate potential causes, and prevent additional people from becoming sick.”
The survey is allowed by state law and is completely voluntary. All information is confidential. Personal information will not be disclosed or released. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department at 308-345-4223 or NDHHS Office of Epidemiology at 402-471-2937.
Specific questions on the survey include:
- Have you experienced illness anytime since Monday, Feb 27?
- Did you drink any unpasteurized milk during Feb. 23 to March 9?
- Did you eat in any restaurants during Feb. 23 to March 9?
- Apart from any chicken you might have eaten in restaurants — and reported above — did you prepare or consume any chicken during Feb. 23 to March 9 in your home or at another private residence, public gathering or event, or other location?
- Apart from any ground beef/hamburger you might have eaten in restaurants — and reported above — did you prepare or consume any ground beef/hamburger during Feb. 23 to March 9 in your home or at another private residence, public gathering or event, or other location?
- During Feb. 23 to March 9, did you consume food — not previously reported — at public gatherings or community events such as weddings, funerals, sporting events, family gatherings, fish fry, Lenten meal at church, etc.?
- During Feb. 23 to March 9 did you have any contact with animals?
- Considering your typical tap water consumption, please estimate the volume of unheated/unboiled tap water you consumed during the two week period from Feb. 23 to March 9 for various locations as listed below — home, work, school, daycare, church, restaurants, other residences, and other sources.
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