22 salmonella cases confirmed in Conwy and Gwynedd
An outbreak of salmonella is being investigated in north west Wales, it has been revealed.
Public Health Wales (PHW) officials have said five of the 22 people, including children, were hospitalised but have since been allowed home.
Environmental Health officers in Conwy and Gwynedd councils and PHW are investigating.
The source of the outbreak, which began in mid July, has not been identified.
Health officials say 22 cases have been confirmed with the same unique strain but have yet to find a common link.
- Careful hand washing is the most important prevention measure to take
- Do not share towels
- Use gloves when handling soiled articles from ill people.
- Wash soiled clothing and bed linen on 'hot cycle'
- If looking after someone with a stomach illness, carefully disinfect toilet seats, flush handles, wash-hand basin taps and toilet door handles daily and after use
- Maintain good personal hygiene and hygienic preparation/serving of food
- If you have a gastrointestinal illness, don't return to work, especially if you are a food handler or work with the vulnerable until you have been symptom-free for 48 hrs
- Don't visit patients in local hospitals and long-term care facilities. While many people tend to feel better sooner, illness can still be spread if they return to work or school within 48 hours
- Source: Public Health Wales
The outbreak does not seem to be easing off, with notifications coming in fairly steadily and not concentrated on one particular town or locality.
Anyone who lives in Conwy and Gwynedd or has visited it since mid-July has been advised to contact their GP if they are experiencing food poisoning symptoms, such as diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever.
Dr Judy Hart, consultant in public health at PHW, said although the illness is unpleasant, those affected should make a full recovery.
"Salmonella is usually contracted by eating food like red and white meats, raw eggs, milk and other dairy products which contain the bacterium, usually following cross-contamination of cooked food by raw food or by failing to ensure food is properly stored and cooked before it's eaten," she said.
"We are working with environmental health officers to investigate the possible cause of the outbreak and will continue to monitor the situation."