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Sept. 30 update: The strain of Salmonella which recently sickened 14 people at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, is the “relatively rare” Salmonella Isangi, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. As a result, state health officials have requested more information about it from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), said Jim Collins, the department’s director of communicable diseases. He noted that Salmonella Isangi has only been reported in Michigan four times in the past five years. Collins said state health officials and hospital staff are working to figure out the cause of the outbreak. “They’re looking at what procedures these people received, where they stayed at the hospital, and who their health care workers were while they were there,” Collins said. Previous coverage follows: Officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, are trying to unravel how 14 patients in the same hospital unit were sickened last week with Salmonella. Henry Ford HospitalSeven of these people have been discharged, while the other seven remain in the hospital and are isolated from other patients “as an added safety precaution,” according to a Detroit TV station report aired Tuesday night. Sources at the 802-bed hospital said the outbreak doesn’t appear to be food-related, but they aren’t yet sure. “No new patients have been identified this week. There’s no evidence at this time that the illness is food related,” a hospital statement read. “Salmonella can be transmitted basically by anything that enters your mouth, whether it’s a dirty hand, touching something that has Salmonella and touching your mouth, or food,” said Dr. Frank McGeorge, an emergency room physician affiliated with Henry Ford Hospital. “In a hospital setting, it could be just about anything, and that’s where the detective work happens and really has to take place.” Typical symptoms of Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. “If it gets more severe, they can develop a fever and ultimately, it can become bloody diarrhea,” McGeorge said. “That’s when it becomes much more concerning. The hospital acted immediately by restricting the patients by identifying them, by treating them and by preventing any further spread. So they reacted to this issue as quickly as possible and as efficiently as possible.”

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