Iowa's Latest Health Threat? Salmonella Cases Rising

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

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By Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa -- As if cyclospora – the parasitic infection that can cause diarrhea lasting for weeks – wasn’t enough, Iowa is now dealing with an increase in salmonella cases.

According to an Iowa Department of Public Health news release, 26 reports of illness linked to a “relatively uncommon strain of salmonella.” The reports have come from 19 Iowa counties.

“Salmonella is commonly the result of improper handling or preparation of food,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk in the press release. “This particular strain is often associated with improper cooking of poultry or eggs.”

Symptoms of Salmonella infections are similar to cyclospora infections, but public health officials said the salmonella cases and cyclospora outbreaks are not related.

Public health officials suggests that chicken is grilled to 165 degrees, as well as reheated to 165 degrees. Eggs used for salads should be cooked thoroughly and raw eggs should not be used to make homemade ice cream.

Officials also advise keeping cold food cold and hot food hot to prevent the growth of bacteria.

The best way to avoid infection is to frequently wash your hands, especially after using the bathroom, before preparing food and after playing with pets or vising a petting zoo.

The salmonella cases have been reported in the following counties:

Allamakee (1), Black Hawk (1), Buena Vista (1), Cerro Gordo (4), Des Moines (1), Humboldt (1), Jasper (1), Kossuth (1), Madison (1), Mahaska (1), Marshall (1), Muscatine (1), Polk (3), Scott (1), Sioux (1), Story (1), Union (1), Webster (3), Woodbury (1).

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