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Cases rise to 158 in mass food poisoning outbreak linked to jamb - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Cases rise to 158 in mass food poisoning outbreak linked to jambalaya

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Photo Courtesy: MGN Online Photo Courtesy: MGN Online
COLUMBIA, La. -

Louisiana health officials issued an update on a mass food poisoning linked to jambalaya that may have killed one person and apparently sickened more than 100 people who ate at a fundraiser.

Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Parham Jaberi says in addition to the salmonella already found in stool samples, a bacterium commonly found in raw meat and poultry also has been identified. Jaberi says the bacterium, when ingested, releases a toxin that makes people sick. It presents many of the same symptoms as salmonella.

As of Oct. 23, 2017, 158 people have been identified with gastrointestinal illness and 40 people have been hospitalized, with almost all now discharged. The health department is continuing to investigate a death that may be associated with the outbreak. Officials are working with the pathologist responsible for the autopsy and CDC to determine if post-mortem testing can be performed by the CDC. 

The ages of those with a confirmed illness range from 10 years old to 82.

Health officials are also testing samples of the jambalaya meals that are believed to be responsible for the outbreak. To date, 19 food samples have been tested with five testing positive for Salmonella. The results for the remaining 14 samples are still pending, and state officials are sending the samples to the CDC for further testing.

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