The Onondaga County Health Department and New York State Department of Health announced this week that an uptick in laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter cases has been detected in Central New York state.  

According to a health department press release, at least 7 people became ill with campylobacteriosis, the illness caused by the ingestion of Campylobacter bacteria, after eating at Hinerwadel’s Grove clambake facility on September 15, 2010.  Commissioner of Health Cynthia Morrow said she expects the number of ill people associated with the outbreak to grow as additional cases are reported.  

Public health officials are encouraging anyone who ate at Hinerwadel’s Grove, which is located at 5300 West Taft Road in Syracuse, on or after September 15 and became ill with a gastrointestinal illness to seek treatment from a health care provider and contact the health department at 315-435-6607.  

Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease that is characterized by diarrhea (which is often bloody), abdominal pain, malaise, fever, nausea and vomiting.  The severity of the illness caused by the ingestion of Campylobacter bacteria is variable, but usually people who get campylobacteriosis recover completely within 10 days.  For a small number of people, Campylobacter infection may result in long-term health problems.  For example, Campylobacter infection is the most common cause of a rare disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome that occurs several weeks after the acute diarrheal illness, and may result in permanent paralysis.

The investigation into the source of the Campylobacter outbreak is ongoing.  In a statement the Onondaga County Health Department stated that at this time there is no indication of improper food handling at the restaurant.