The Ministry of Health (MOH) in French Polynesia has officially confirmed at least three cases of Salmonella in Taravao, and a “suspect” case that has resulted in death, according to a MOH press release in late November (computer translated).

Salmonella bacteria (red)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Salmonella bacteria (red)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

These infections were reported to the Bureau de veille sanitaire between 20 and 28 November. Above all, “one person has died,” says this information, while indicating that “the main cause of death remains uncertain”.

This person died in the night of November 18 to 19, a few hours after eating an egg dish (Kai Fan). His wife suffered a salmonella infection following this meal. One of two other confirmed cases of salmonellosis also consumed a Kai Fan. These takeaway meals were all purchased in the same Taravao business.

The statement released Thursday said that an “inspection was conducted in this store by the Center for hygiene and public health”. Two types of analyzes are in progress, indicates the Ministry of Health stating that they are interested in the “remains of a consumed dishes” and “water withdrawals, made due to recent rainy episodes “. The sanitary survey is currently underway: “We try to explore all the tracks: the dishes sold in this shop are analyzed, water samples were taken, we go back the egg production chain, we also examine the people who were preparing the dishes, “says Dr. Marine Giard.

Health officials note that it’s been more than 10 days since a no new case has been declared: we can have strong reasons to assume that the infectious source has dried up.

Salmonella 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 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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