About 500 people have fallen ill in a Salmonella outbreak in a Venezuelan state.

The Anzoatiguense Institute of Health (Saludanz) reported 480 people had tested positive for Salmonella, mostly from the El Carmen and San Cristóbal area of the Simón Bolívar municipality.

In mid-December 2020, the agency revealed 240 children and adults had been affected and seen at different health centers after a significant increase in salmonellosis during the previous month.

Investigations so far have pointed to contaminated water as the source of infection but officials have not ruled out a type of Brazilian sausage being behind some cases in the outbreak. They urged the public to buy food and water from hygienic places that comply with the necessary permits.

People were also advised to follow good hygiene standards at home such as boiling water as well as washing and cooking food sufficiently before consuming it.

Because of the increase in infections, authorities are disinfecting trucks with water and inspecting businesses that sell drinking water as well as food outlets. A group of six inspectors are making daily visits to such businesses.

Some of those affected had reported water does not reach them regularly and when it does arrive, it is cloudy in color and has an odor.

Salmonella in Argentina
Meanwhile, health officials in an Argentinian province recorded almost 700 confirmed Salmonella infections in 2020.

The Ministry of Public Health reported that 671 cases of Salmonella were laboratory confirmed in the province of Salta. There were 881 suspected cases throughout the year.

In the first few months of 2020, a greater number of cases was seen. There were isolated infections between March and mid-September but since late September 2020, 310 confirmed cases have been reported.

The incidence rate of salmonellosis in Salta is usually higher from mid-September to the end of February. Argentina’s summer months are from December to February.

The age range mostly affected is between 5 and 9 years old with 163 cases, then children from 0 to 4 years old in second place, and 10 to 14 year olds in third with 111 patients. Slightly more males than females were sick.

Health officials also issued a warning about hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) as it is more common in the summer and mainly affects children. HUS is a type of kidney failure associated with E. coli infections. Advice included to ensure that meat is cooked correctly, wash hands with soap and water, and consume only pasteurized milk and dairy products.

One 4-year-old child was reported to have died in December 2020 as a result of HUS in Salta.

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