By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Officials with the Zorg en Gezondheid in Belgium report (computer translated) that some 150 students and teachers from the Spermalie Hotel and Tourism School in Bruges have been sickened with suspected Salmonella food poisoning.
Joris Moonens, spokesperson for the Agency for Care and Health (Zorg en Gezondheid): “We received notification of gastrointestinal complaints on Friday 6 September with a large number of pupils at the high school Spermalie in Bruges. Examination of bowel movements has already shown to a number of pupils and teachers that it is Salmonella. In the meantime, there are around 150 sick people, both students and teachers. We will follow up the investigation of additional bowel languages in the coming days. We also launch an online survey among students and teachers to find out who ate in which school restaurant. We do everything we can to identify the sources of the contamination.”
Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain spokesperson, Liesbeth Van de Voorde said,“We have been investigating the possible source of the infection since Friday 6 September. Our inspectors first took samples of the meal that was served in the school restaurant on Thursday, and we are also extending the investigation to include meals on Wednesday and Tuesday. After all, salmonella can remain in the body for 6 to 72 hours before symptoms of disease occur. The food samples go to the laboratory of the National Reference Center of Sciensano.
“So far, the FASFC and MSF have not been able to draw a conclusion. We also immediately gave the order to completely clean and disinfect the kitchen of the restaurant, the toilets and items such as the door handles. That has already happened on the weekend. All other kitchens in the school are now also being cleaned. “
Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.