The Oakland County Health Division is investigating 15 cases of Salmonella Saintpaul, a specific strain of salmonella. Cases have also been identified in other Michigan counties, as well as Ohio and Illinois.

Salmonella Image/CDC

“The ongoing investigation suggests that the salmonella is being spread through personal contact,” said Dr. Pamela Hackert, chief of medical services at the Health Division. “Residents are reminded to wash their hands thoroughly before every meal and after using the restroom.”

The outbreak prompted the temporary closure of the Rojo Mexican Bistro on Main Street in Rochester as health inspectors complete their investigation.

While no direct link to the restaurant has been established, several people were diagnosed with Salmonella infection after eating there.

Salmonella is a bacteria that gets into the intestines and causes illness. Most persons infected develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4-7 days, and most people recover without treatment. Infants, elderly persons, and those with impaired immune systems are at a higher risk of developing severe illness.