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Aug-07-2006 10:20printcomments

Lane County Health Officials Investigating Cases of Gastrointestinal Illness

The outbreak has been linked to those attending the Faerieworlds Festival held near Veneta.

Faerieworld Fest singers
Organizers hope people understand that the Faerieworlds Festival is still an awesome event
Photo courtesy: emuzeki.com

(EUGENE) - As of 11:00 AM, Thursday, Lane County Public Health officials have received 75 reports of gastrointestinal illness.

Lane County Environmental Health is working with Faerieworlds Festival organizers and interviewing food vendors.

Public Health employees are interviewing cases to provide education to prevent further spread and to gather information which may or may not identify a common source beyond attendance at the festival.

"Those interviewed cases are generally reporting improvement from illness between 24 and 48 hours," said Jeff Lang, Environmental Health.

Public Health officials expect lab reports from the Oregon State Public Health Lab back this week, which should identify the specific organism.

Reported symptoms include the sudden onset of vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. With diarrhea and vomiting, it is important to stay hydrated.

Health officials want to encourage the public to take preventive steps to protect your health.

Preventive steps include:

Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and especially after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing and eating food.

Use a bleach solution (1 and 2/3 cup bleach to one gallon of water) to clean contaminated surfaces.

Because this type of illness can be contagious for days, Public Health recommends that people who work in health care, day care or food service consider staying away from work for 72 hours.

Gastrointestinal illnesses are common, are always present in the community and are easily spread. A number of viral and bacterial gastrointestinal illnesses can be shed for days after symptoms have resolved. Good hand washing is a key ingredient in prevention of spread.

For medical care, ill persons should call their private medical provider




Comments

Internal Comments are Closed on this story.



Arjuna Raja August 10, 2006 6:45 pm (Pacific time)

Sub: Noroviruses Investigation!. NBC 5 Uncovers Restaurant Danger!!. For your review more information about spread of the disease is thorough hand hygiene in restaurants and cruise lines. Typically restaurant service staffs use a wet rag to wipe perforations at the top of (salt or pepper) shaker surfaces where food stains remain after contact with the hands of patrons. Many school cafeterias, geriatric centers and restaurants provide inexpensive, multiple-use, disposable plastic salt and pepper containers, which are discarded, only after all of the product is used up. Consequently, during usage, these utensils are not sterilized for days/weeks. Presently, there is no system in place (other than sniffing or rubbing the lid of the shaker) to allow blind or visually impaired persons to distinguish between spices, especially during the cold, allergy and flu season. Such practices are of course not conducive to creating sanitary, disease-free environments. Thus, one of the most common ways to transfer noroviruses is the use of contaminated tableware-such as salt and pepper shakers-by multiple patrons. For your reference, please visit: NBC5 Uncovers Restaurant Danger and The perfect vacation starts with hand washing I believe your news editorial would bring above hidden facts to many millions of your readers. Sincerely, Arjuna

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