Eastern Iowa health departments monitor salmonella outbreak - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa health departments monitor salmonella outbreak

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Public health officials are trying to track down the source of the salmonella outbreak across the country and in Iowa.

They say there may be more cases but many times, food-borne illnesses related to salmonella go unreported because many people think it's the flu.

Doctor Arla McVicker at Covenant Clinic has only seen one case of salmonella in her career.

She said usually only the very young or the elderly even need treatment.

"There's no reason to get tested for it, run to your doctor for treatment. It's not going to affect you long-term," said McVicker.

Salmonella is most often found in raw meats and uncooked eggs.

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and fever and usually lasts a few days.

"Generally, the foods we eat will not give an indication of salmonella," said Tom O'Rourke, Black Hawk Co. Public Health Director.

O'Rourke said his county sees only a handful of salmonella cases each year.

"It can come in generic packaging. People may not be aware that the foods is contaminated. Public health may not be aware unitl enough cases have developed and are reported so we can take action on it. By that time, it can be multiple locations and states and a lot of people," said O'Rourke.

So what can you do to protect against salmonella?

Wash foods thoroughly.

Wash your hands before and after cooking.

Cook your food properly.

Make sure your cutting boards are clean...Don't mix cooked and uncooked food.

Sometimes use bleach to clean it off.

Meantime, public health departments and the CDC will try to pinpoint this latest outbreak.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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