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DOH identifies Bradford County resident with peanut butter-related salmonella illness

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By The Staff

The Florida Department of Health today identified a single case of Salmonella Typhimuirium in a resident of Bradford County. The sample from this resident matched the DNA fingerprint of the nationwide peanut outbreak.

The patient was briefly hospitalized, but has since been discharged. It is not known at this time which product this person consumed that caused their illness. The investigation is ongoing. The department is continuing its surveillance efforts to identify any further cases that may be linked to this outbreak.

The state health department is working with Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that any recalled peanut butter in food service establishments licensed by Florida Department of Health is not distributed to the public.

According to the FDA, major national brands of jarred peanut butter (like the jars you buy at the store) are not affected by the recalls. It is recommended that you not eat products that have been recalled and throw them away in a manner that prevents others from eating them.

The FDA recommends that you postpone eating other peanut butter containing products (such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream) until more information becomes available about which brands may be affected.

Salmonellosis is an infection with bacteria called Salmonella. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment.

However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

If you have recently consumed a peanut butter product and are worried about getting sick, go online at the Centers for Disease Control Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/.

If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, contact your primary care physician for diagnosis and treatment. To confirm a salmonellosis infection, you must submit a stool sample to your physician.

For questions about any products related to this outbreak, go to the FDA Web site at http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/salmonellatyph.html. FDA has created a searchable list of products that will be updated as information becomes available. The list can be viewed at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm.