PEI

1 case of salmonella on P.E.I. linked to larger group of cases

Health authorities are still working to track down the source of a salmonella outbreak that has caused 59 confirmed cases in Canada, one of those on P.E.I.

Source of illness under investigation by Public Health Agency of Canada

The case of salmonella on P.E.I. is connected to 58 other cases in four other provinces. (Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)

Health authorities are still working to track down the source of a salmonella outbreak that has caused 59 confirmed cases in Canada, one of those on P.E.I.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) says the P.E.I. case is connected to 23 others reported in British Columbia, 31 in Alberta, three in Manitoba and one in Ontario, as of July 24.

People became sick between mid-June and mid-July. Information is available for 28 of the cases, and six of those people have been hospitalized due to salmonella. There are no reported deaths.

The source of the outbreak has yet to be determined, but health authorities are investigating, as recent illnesses continue to be reported to PHAC.

To date, the people infected are between 11 and 77 years old, with more than half of them women.

Health PEI said it was notified Friday morning of the case of salmonella linked to the national outbreak.

"Public health nursing has followed-up with our case and, as with all cases of food-borne illness, our environmental health officers have followed-up with food premise(s) as required," the agency said in an email statement to CBC.

"We will continue to work with our partners at the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, and public health authorities in other affected provinces to investigate this outbreak."

An investigation of salmonella in the United States with a similar genetic footprint to these Canadian cases is also being investigated, and PHAC said it is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to exchange information to identify the source.

Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in the intestines of animals, reptiles and birds. The bacteria are most often transmitted to people when they eat contaminated foods, which often come from animal sources, like poultry, beef, milk or eggs, but can also include fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Symptoms of salmonella typically present six to 72 hours after exposure and include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting.

Health PEI recommends anyone experiencing symptoms contact their health-care provider to determine the need to have a stool sample tested.  

Most people who get sick from salmonella will recover fully after a few days. 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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