This news item expired on Thursday, May 31, 2012 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
As of May 2, 2012, Buncombe County Department of Health reports 38 cases of Salmonella Paratyhpi B infection with numbers likely to continue rising. At this point in the outbreak, communicable disease investigations indicate that person-to-person transmission is becoming more prominent as we approach the next wave of the outbreak. We are beginning to see more cases that are spread by someone who has the illness rather than from a food source.
People with Salmonella Paratyphi B are given very specific instructions to prevent further spread of the disease, which include restrictions on preparing food for others and proper hand washing. People who work with food, childcare centers or health care are excluded from work until lab tests confirm they are no longer contagious, which is sometimes weeks after they quit having diarrhea.
Specific steps to keep from spreading the disease from person-to-person:
Most important - wash your hands well after using the bathroom or changing a diaper and before you fix, serve or eat food. Use soap and warm water to lather your hands well and wash for 20 seconds, or about the time it takes to say the ABC’s. Be sure to wash the entire hand, between the fingers and under the finger nails. Rinse well and dry with a disposable paper towel.
If a family member has symptoms of Salmonella Paratyphi B infection:
- Disinfect surfaces. Remember common surfaces such as light switches, TV remote controls and door knobs, as well as kitchen and bathroom surfaces, including toilet flush handles.
- Use a purchased bleach type disinfecting solution and follow the instructions. The bottle needs to say that it is made to for food preparation areas.
- If you make your own bleach solution, be sure to start with bleach that is not more than one year old. Mix your own bleach solution using 10 drops of bleach to a quart spray bottle of water. This solution must be made daily.
- Properly use bleach solution by spraying on a surface and allowing to sit for at least 2 minutes or air dry.
- Take frequent showers (especially if you are having severe diarrhea)
- Do not cook for others or share food or drink
- Avoid close contact with others and use a separate bathroom, if possible.
The public is urged to continue taking additional precautions such as cooking foods fully, seeking medical care if they have symptoms and following the Department of Agriculture’s recommendations to discard the recalled tempeh.
To listen to information, call the HOTLINE: 828.250.5300 (English, Spanish and Russian).
To report symptoms of Salmonella Paratyphi B, call Communicable Disease Nurses: 828.250.5109.