The Salmonella outbreak which has reportedly sickened 18 people at the Heritage Corner Health Campus in Bowling Green, Ohio, now includes two possibly related deaths. According to a press release from the Wood County Health District, “Sadly, during the outbreak, we were notified that two residents who tested positive for salmonella had passed away. However, we cannot say whether this was related to the illness.” The health district also stated that officials were “cautiously optimistic” that the outbreak is over since no new symptoms had been reported since June 10. “Everyone who has developed symptoms since May 27th has been tested but not everyone who has been tested has been positive and some test results are still pending. The normal incubation period for salmonella is 12-72 hours. With more than 6 days passing since the last new report of symptoms, the outbreak may be at its end,” the statement reads. The health district and the Ohio Department of Health have been investigating the outbreak since June 9. Illnesses began on May 24, health officials said, and they first learned of confirmed cases in center residents on May 27. Health investigators said they were interviewing patients who had been sickened about the types of foods they may have eaten and any other possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria that may have occurred in the week before they became ill. Officials have also been interviewing staff and have inspected Heritage Corner’s kitchen and other facilities. “Since learning of the outbreak, the health district has taken several steps to both try to identify the cause and prevent more cases. Sanitarians and an Ohio Department of Health Food Safety Specialist inspected the kitchen and spoke with the kitchen manager about food preparation practices and food sources. No major problems were identified,” noted the press release. Meanwhile, the health department has advised Heritage Corner to close common areas, including the dining room, and thoroughly clean and sanitize the facility, as well as reinforce hand-washing procedures. The health department has suggested Heritage Corner serve meals in take-out containers that can be taken to residents’ rooms. The campus offers facilities for independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care and rehabilitation, memory care, and hospice care, among other services. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anyone can get a Salmonella infection; however, older adults, infants, and people with impaired immune systems are at increased risk for serious illness. In these people, a relatively small number of Salmonella bacteria can cause severe illness.