Salmonella linked to clam chowder served at Virginia cookoff

(Delmarvanow.com) -- Salmonella was identified in a sample of clam chowder served during the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook Off that caused more than a hundred cases of illness, Virginia health officials said Tuesday.

The Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) in Richmond, Virginia, first identified Salmonella javiana in samples submitted by healthcare providers and health officials from event attendees who reported gastro-intestinal illness.

On Tuesday, DCLS identified Salmonella javiana in a sample of clam chowder that was obtained from an attendee served during the event, consistent with the exposure results of the online attendee survey, according to a news release.

Approximately 500 survey responses, from both ill and non-ill attendees, were recorded in 18 days.

As of Tuesday, the Accomack County Health Department said it has received 180 reports of illness to date from the Sept. 30 event. Approximately half of those reported ill sought medical care, with 20 percent receiving emergency room care and 10 percent having been hospitalized for one or more nights.

No deaths have been reported with this outbreak, Accomack officials said.

Accomack County health officials are addressing issues that may have contributed to the outbreak by engaging event sponsors and vendors. The laboratory analysis continues, as does analysis of the survey results.

A final Epidemiologic Field Report will be drafted locally within 30 days and be available then to interested parties, the Tuesday release stated. Health officials will continue to assemble reports from Virginia and as many as nine other states where event attendees reside.

Health officials would like to acknowledge the event sponsor, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company and its event coordinator, as well as all of the food vendors who participated in the event, for their cooperation and assistance in the investigation.

Last week, fire company officials said they would continue to hold the event while using extra safety precautions.

Delmarvanow.com


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