Salmonella outbreak update: 16 May

Released 16/05/2013

The ACT Chief Health Officer, Dr Paul Kelly today said that ACT Health is currently investigating an outbreak of Salmonella gastroenteritis linked to a local restaurant. Over 140 suspected cases of gastrointestinal illness have been reported among persons who ate at the restaurant. Thirty of these have had Salmonella confirmed by laboratory testing and 15 people have been hospitalised.

"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.

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 at

ACT Health is working closely with the restaurant involved to identify the source of the Salmonella contamination. The business will reopen when ACT Health is assured that there is no residual risk to public health as a result of this outbreak.


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