County public health officials in Omaha, NE, have confirmed they are investigating a Salmonella outbreak at a daycare center, but they have not reported how many of the 100 children enrolled at the center are sick.

A spokesman for the Douglas County health department told numerous local media outlets that investigators have not found a root source of the outbreak. Health department spokesman Phil Rooney said it could be something as simple as employees not properly washing their hands after changing a child’s diaper and then handling or serving food.

The implicated Elite Childcare Academy location has closed until further notice for cleaning and employee training. The daycare center cannot reopen without permission from public health officials. The business operators sent a notice to parents and guardians of children enrolled at the daycare center asking that they complete a survey to help determine the source of the Salmonella.

A statement from the business reports there have been confirmed cases of Salmonella infection among children attending the center. The statement does not specify how many confirmed patients have been identified.

State and county outbreak investigators are urging parents and guardians of children enrolled at the daycare center to monitor children for symtoms of Salmonella infection. Anyone with symptoms should see a doctor and explain the possible exposure to Salmonella. Specific laboratory tests are needed to identify salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis, allowing the infections to develop unchecked.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 6 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients need to be hospitalized. 

Older adults, children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.

It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and to not get sick or show any symptoms, but to still be able to spread the infection to others. 

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