OTTAWA, April 5, 2019 /CNW/ - Original Notice
Why you should take note
The Public Health Agencyof Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella infections involving six provinces: British
The source of the outbreak has not been identified, and the investigation is ongoing. Outbreak investigators are gathering information on possible sources. The outbreak appears to be ongoing, as illnesses continue to be reported.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is issuing this public health notice to inform Canadians of the investigation findings to date and to share important safe food handling practices to help prevent further Salmonella infections.
This public health notice will be updated on a regular basis as the investigation evolves.
As of April 5, 2019, there have been 63 laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella Enteritidis illness investigated in the following provinces: British Columbia (23), Alberta (10), Saskatchewan (8), Manitoba (10), Ontario (10) and Quebec (2). Individuals became sick between November 2018 and March 2019. Eighteen individuals have been hospitalized. Two deaths have been reported; however, it has not been determined whether Salmonella was a contributing cause in these deaths. Individuals who became ill are between 1 and 87 years of age. The majority of cases (57%) are female.
It is possible that more recent illnesses may be reported in the outbreak because there is a period of time between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health officials. For this outbreak, the illness reporting period is between four and five weeks.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is conducting a food safety investigation. If contaminated food products are identified, they will take the necessary steps to protect the public, including recalling food products as required. Currently there are no Food Recall Warnings associated with this outbreak.
Who is most at risk
Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile.
Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection 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.
What you should do to protect your health
It is difficult to know whether a product is contaminated with Salmonella because you can't see, smell or taste it. The best ways to prevent Salmonella illnesses are to use safe food handling practices every day. The following food preparation tips may help reduce your risk of getting sick, but they may not fully eliminate the risk of illness.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start six to 72 hours after exposure to Salmonella bacteria from an infected animal or contaminated product.
These symptoms usually last for four to seven days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. In some cases, severe illness and hospitalization may occur. In some cases, antibiotics may be required. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. People who experience symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care provider if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.
What the Government of Canada is doing
The Government of Canada is committed to food safety. The Public Health Agency of Canada leads the human health investigation into an outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal, provincial and territorial partners to monitor the situation and to collaborate on steps to address an outbreak.
Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine whether the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.
The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to these investigations becomes available.
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
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