A child has been hospitalized in Southern Australia as part of a Salmonella outbreak.
The outbreak has been traced to an early learning center and seven children aged up to four years are affected.
The Whyalla City Council said the cause and origin of the incident is currently unknown. Whyalla is in the Australian state of South Australia (SA).
“The City of Whyalla is working with SA Health to help identify the cause of a localized Salmonella outbreak involving children that attend a Whyalla early learning center,” according to a council statement.
“There have been no reported cases of Salmonella at the Council-run Whyalla Child Care Centre. Council health officers conduct regular checks of commercial and community food outlets and uphold a stringent set of regulations that all food outlets must abide by.”
SA Health said it was working with Whyalla City Council to try to identify the cause of the localized Salmonella outbreak in the unnamed local early learning center.
“To reduce spread of infection, we recommend any person with gastro-like symptoms including diarrhea remain home from childcare or work until there are no symptoms for 24 hours,” added the agency.
Around 1,000 cases of Salmonella infection were reported to SA Health in 2018 compared to 1,430 in 2017.
People can experience symptoms of Salmonella infection between six and 72 hours after exposure and these usually last for three to seven days. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, stomach cramps and loss of appetite.
Young children, older people, pregnant women and people who are immunocompromised are at risk of more severe illness.
Salmonella infection usually results from ingesting the bacteria from contaminated food, water or hands. Eggs, milk, meat or poultry are high risk foods. Fruit and vegetables may also be contaminated, especially if manure was used as fertilizer.
People may become infected if they transfer animal feces containing Salmonella bacteria from hands to their mouths, for example, if eating after touching animals without washing their hands. Person-to-person spread may occur when hands, objects or food become contaminated with feces from people who are infected and the bacteria are then taken in by the mouth of another person.
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