An emergency committee to control the sale of food has been created in a city in northwest Argentina after a spike in Salmonella cases in early 2020.

There have been 51 confirmed cases of Salmonella in Salta so far this year. At least five people have been hospitalized but recovered after treatment.

The committee will be responsible for controlling food sold on public roads at street stalls and at commercial premises. It includes experts from the National University of Salta (UNSA) and Catholic University of Salta (Ucasal).

Officials hope by increasing controls they can bring the rise in infections under control and minimize the risk to the public.

The group, created by the Mayor of Salta Bettina Romero and Undersecretary of Health and Human Environment Mónica Torfe, held a meeting with Juan José Esteban, manager of the Hospital Señor del Milagro, and teams from the department of epidemiology of the province on preventive measures to tackle the Salmonella rise this past week.

Norma Spontón, head of the microbiology sector; Teresita Cruz, of the epidemiological surveillance program of the province; Paula Herrera, from the Ministry of Health, and José Herrera, from the hospital also participated.

Experts from the two universities are involved in training the inspectors who will be in charge of carrying out the control tasks.

About Salmonella infections

Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 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 require hospitalization.

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.

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