Susan Buckley, RN, Director, Public Health
Ira Singh, MPH, Deputy Director
Donald I. Baird, MD, Health Officer

Division of Environmental Health

PRESS RELEASE

Date Released: 12/6/2007
Subject: INFORMATION ON FOOD BORNE ILLNESS OUTBREAK
Contact: Brian Cox, Director, Environmental Health Division
Phone: (707) 445-6215

The Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Branch staff are working to stem an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness at a local banquet facility. The outbreak currently centers on events held at the facility December 1st through December 5th. The facility has voluntarily closed and is fully cooperating with Public Health staff in implementing strict guidelines for sanitation and employee screening.

The cause of the outbreak is believed to be a highly contagious virus that can be passed from person-to-person. Samples have been taken but results are still pending. The illness typically does not require medical attention. Characteristics of the illness include abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills and malaise. Symptoms generally begin within 24 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus and subside within a day or two.

Local physicians and healthcare providers have been alerted to the possibility of seeing cases arising from exposures.

The best protection against this disease is thorough hand washing before eating and preparing food (see www.humboldthealthalert.org/). Individuals should stay home if ill and not return to work for a minimum of 24 hours following recovery from illness. Humboldt County Public Health will continue to monitor the situation and communicate further information as it becomes available.




 

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