At least 100 children are sick in Finland because of Salmonella, according to the country’s national public service broadcaster. A food source is likely.
YLE reported that mainly young children have been suffering from diarrhea in the country in recent weeks. Early indications point to one of the ingredients of salad and the wholesaler supplying the products has been contacted.
Most of the patients are from the city of Jyväskylä and were taken to hospital but the majority did not require admission and treatment. City officials believe people were exposed to the contaminated product on June 18 or early the following week.
Experts are trying to trace the source of the outbreak with the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) involved in the investigation. Drinking water and swimming areas have been ruled out with a food source suspected.
Patients are children from about 20 different preschools that outsource meals. Environmental health officers from Jyväskylä and a company called Kylän Kattaus, which provides food services in the city, are investigating.
Laboratory tests on food samples have been taken and are expected to be available beginning Wednesday. Staff are also being checked for infection. More attention has been put on hand hygiene in kindergartens and cleaning of these premises has been intensified.
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.
Anyone who has developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.
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. Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.
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