Salmonella outbreak: Update

Released 15/05/2013

The ACT Chief Health Officer, Dr Paul Kelly today said  that ACT Health are currently investigating an outbreak of Salmonella gastroenteritis linked to a local restaurant. Over 100 suspected cases of gastrointestinal illness have been reported among persons who ate at the restaurant. Twenty of these have had Salmonella confirmed by laboratory testing  Fifteen people have been hospitalised.

"ACT Health is working closely with the restaurant to determine the cause of the outbreak," Dr Kelly said.

"Symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and headaches. Sometimes diarrhoea can contain blood or mucus.

"Symptoms usually start 12-36 hours after a person becomes infected and usually last from 4-7 days.

"Many cases do not need medical treatment and resolve themselves. People experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis should ensure they remain well hydrated by drinking fluids.

"People should seek medical attention if they experience severe abdominal pain, cannot eat or drink, vomit blood or have blood in their bowel movements, or experience a elevated fever.

If you are experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis you should consult your general practitioner.

The Emergency Departments of both The Canberra Hospital and Calvary Hospital are treating a large number of cases and may experience delays in treating non-emergency cases. People should only seek treatment at The Canberra Hospital or Calvary Hospital if they feel they are experiencing a medical emergency.

Medical services are also available from

  • The Canberra After Hours Locum Service (CALMS) (fees apply). Bookings by phone 1300 422 567 after 6pm.
  • The Walk In Centre at Canberra Hospital. This is open from 7am-11pm with no bookings necessary.

Salmonella is spread when people eat food contaminated by the bacteria. This can happen if Salmonella is present in inadequately cooked food, or sometimes if food is contaminated by a person who has Salmonella infection.

People experiencing symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis should avoid preparing food (including working in food preparation or service) while they are unwell.

Further information is available on the ACT Health Website on

The Health Emergency Control Centre (HECC) remains activated at HPS Holder.

- Statement ends -

Section: ACT Health Directorate | Media Releases

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