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Rare Salmonella Bacteria Found in Coos County
The Oregon Health Authority is reporting that two people in Oregon, one in Coos County and the other in Lane county have tested positive for Salmonella Overschie.
Salmonella Overschie is a rare strain of the Salmonella bacterium. There are many different kinds of these bacteria. Salmonella serotype Typhimurium and Salmonella serotype Enteritidis are the most common types in the United States.
The first patient to test positive is a 28 year-old Coos County woman who was reported sick in December. The other is a minor in Lane County that developed their symptoms a week apart.
State agencies launched an investigation on the source of the bacterium but the investigation was unable to determine results.
The Oregon Health Authority documents that this strain has never been reported in Oregon until now. Between 1995 and 2005 Salmonella Overschie has only been detected in 23 people.
Salmonella Overschie was first discovered in 1961 in the Netherlands.
You can get salmonellosis by eating food contaminated with salmonella. This can happen in the following ways:
Food may be contaminated during food processing or food handling.
Food may become contaminated by the unwashed hands of an infected food handler. A frequent cause is a food handler who does not wash his or her hands with soap after using the bathroom.
Salmonella may also be found in the feces of some pets, especially those with diarrhea. You can become infected if you do not wash your hands after contact with these feces.
Reptiles, baby chicks and ducklings, and small rodents such as hamsters are particularly likely to carry Salmonella. You should always wash your hands immediately after handling one of these animals, even if the animal is healthy. Adults should also be careful that children wash their hands after handling reptiles, pet turtles, baby chicks or ducklings, or small rodents.
Beef, poultry, milk, and eggs are most often infected with salmonella. But vegetables may also be contaminated. Contaminated foods usually look and smell normal.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. They develop 12 to 72 hours after infection, and the illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. But diarrhea and dehydration may be so severe that it is necessary to go to the hospital. Older adults, infants, and those who have impaired immune systems are at highest risk.
If you only have diarrhea, you usually recover completely, although it may be several months before your bowel habits are entirely normal. A small number of people who are infected with salmonellosis develop Reiter’s syndrome, a disease that can last for months or years and can lead to chronic arthritis.
How is salmonellosis diagnosed?
Salmonellosis is diagnosed based on a medical history and a physical exam. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms, foods you have recently eaten, and your work and home environments. A stool culture and blood tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis.