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Updated: October 24 , 2008 - 15:00 (EST)
The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with provincial and local health authorities and the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control to investigate a potential North American gastro-intestinal outbreak of Salmonella Poona.
In Canada to date, there have been 29 cases spread across British Columbia (1), Manitoba (1), Quebec (10), Ontario (15) and Nova Scotia (2) with the same genetic fingerprint.
The cause of the potential outbreak is not known at this time. Provincial laboratories and the Agency’s National Microbiology Laboratory are conducting ongoing analyses to determine if other Salmonella Poona cases share the same genetic fingerprint as those identified thus far. The number of cases associated with this outbreak may increase as the investigation continues.
For most people, the risk posed by Salmonella Poona is very low. Although Salmonella is the most frequently reported cause of food-related outbreaks of stomach illnesses worldwide, Salmonella Poona is relatively rare.
Salmonella Poona causes the same illnesses as other species of Salmonella.
Symptoms generally occur in one to three days after eating tainted food, and will last two to five days. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. It can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in some people, such as children, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems. People from these at-risk groups who may have experienced symptoms should consult their healthcare provider.
Salmonella can be present on a variety of foods, including eggs and poultry, unpasteurized milk and contaminated raw fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts.
The Agency reminds all Canadians to take the following precautions when preparing food:
Salmonella can also be carried by animals. The Agency reminds pet owners to keep their aquariums clean and to wash their hands thoroughly after handling their pets.
These tips apply to everyone all the time, not just during an outbreak.
For more information about food safety please visit:
The Agency will keep Canadians informed as new information becomes available.
Public Health Agency of Canada
Philippe Brideau, Media Relations