June 3, 2010
State Health Department Alerts Public to Salmonella Illnesses in Illinois
State and Local Health Departments investigating cause of Salmonella cases linked to Subway restaurants in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Public Health and local health departments throughout the state are investigating the cause of Salmonella illnesses among customers who ate at certain Subway restaurants in Illinois. To date, 34 cases of Salmonella have been confirmed with this outbreak and all are recovering, of which 14 had been hospitalized.
Salmonella cases identified in this outbreak reported eating at Subway locations in 14 counties, including Sangamon, Schuyler, Christian, Bureau, LaSalle, Cass, Champaign, Peoria, Shelby, Warren, Macon, Ogle, Fulton and Tazewell. At this point in the investigation, no cases have reported eating at Subway restaurants in either northeastern or southernmost portions of Illinois. Illnesses are reported to have started between May 14 and May 25 and cases range in age from six-years to 88-years-old.
The specific type of Salmonella involved in this outbreak is a rare serotype called Hvittingfoss. Typically, only one to two cases of this type of Salmonella are seen in Illinois per year. SUBWAY® restaurant owners and corporate representatives have been cooperating with public health officials to determine the source of these illnesses. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will continue to work closely with local health departments and the SUBWAY® restaurant chain on this ongoing investigation.
Although there has been no positive or confirmed association with a specific product, the SUBWAY® restaurant chain has voluntarily withdrawn all lettuce, green peppers, red onion and tomatoes, from the suspected dates from its restaurants and has replaced the product with new, fresh produce. The SUBWAY® brand will continue to work with the Illinois Department of Public Health to assist in pinpointing the exact cause of the outbreak.
Symptoms of Salmonellosis (illness caused by Salmonella bacteria) include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or stomach cramps. Illness usually develops within six to 72 hours after being exposed to Salmonella bacteria and generally lasts three to seven days. Some individuals who are infected may have no symptoms at all but may still transmit the Salmonella bacteria to others. The spread of Salmonella from person to person may be avoided by careful hand washing with soap and water, particularly after using the restroom.
The Department encourages anyone experiencing gastrointestinal illness within six to 72 hours after eating at Subway restaurants in Illinois on or after May 10, 2010 to contact their health care provider or local health department. For more information about Salmonellosis, visit the IDPH Web site at http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbsam.htm.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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