Louisiana state health officials report investigating an outbreak of Salmonella poisoning possibly associated with a local fundraiser held on Monday, in Caldwell Parish. The fundraiser was supported by many local businesses throughout the community that purchased plates of jambalaya, which is the suspected cause. The Louisiana Department of Health urges anyone who purchased food from the fundraiser to throw away any food that has not yet been consumed. This includes side items that may have come in contact with the jambalaya.

Public domain image/Jon Sullivan via wikimedia commons
Public domain image/Jon Sullivan via wikimedia commons

As of Oct. 19, 49 cases of a gastrointestinal illness have been confirmed with 31 people hospitalized. One death has occurred and an autopsy is occurring to determine if the death was caused by this illness or other causes. The ages of those with a confirmed illness range from 15 years old to 70.

Laboratory samples taken from five individuals have tested positive for Salmonella. Health officials believe that at least 300 people were served the suspect jambalaya and are anticipating there will be more reports of illness in the next several days.

Symptoms usually begin within six to 72 hours after exposure, although they can begin up to a week after exposure. Symptoms commonly last four to seven days.

Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. Most people recover from Salmonella without treatment, but symptoms may be so severe that it is necessary to go to the hospital. Older adults, infants, and those who have impaired immune systems are at highest risk.

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