Foodborne illness outbreak in VA might have impact in Delaware

(Public domain/Wikimedia)

(Public domain/Wikimedia)

Delawareans who attended the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook-Off are being asked to fill out a survey, following an outbreak of food poisoning linked to the event.

The Virginia Department of Health created the online survey to help officials closely pinpoint the source of the gastrointestinal disease outbreak associated with last month’s event.

Several festival goers developed nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever following the Sept. 30 event in Chincoteague, Virginia. Initial reports state health officials there found the bacteria salmonella in some food samples.

An illness in a Delaware resident who reportedly attended the event could be linked.

VDH reached out to neighboring states’ health departments, including the Delaware Division of Public Health, asking for help in getting their residents to complete the survey, ill or not.

The survey can be found here. It asks questions like, “Did you consume chili from any of these chili vendors,” and lists the specific establishments, “Did you become ill,” and “Were you hospitalized overnight?”

The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company sponsored the event and is working closely with the Accomack County Health Department in its investigation. A post on their Facebook page read, “On behalf of the Officers, Members and Fundraising Committee, I cannot tell you how sorry we are that this has happened during one of our sponsored events … While I know that mere words cannot even touch the severity of this please know that our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this and we pray for your speedy recovery.”

Symptoms of foodborne disease typically include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Additional symptoms may include fever, headache, malaise, muscle ache, loss of appetite, weight loss, chills and dehydration.

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