Salmonella Spreads Through Parts of Oklahoma

Friday, January 9th 2009, 10:56 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

ENID, Oklahoma -- A nationwide outbreak of salmonella has already sickened two young people in Oklahoma, and many others are suffering the symptoms.

Brett Meier said he is once again feeling fine, but the 23-year-old from Enid has had a rough week.

"It's extremely painful," Meier said. "It's very uncomfortable for about 12 hours."

Meier said what started as a business dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, but ended with several getting sick enough to go to the emergency room.

"They all called in sick and I know a number of them had gone to the hospital and gone to the emergency room," Meier said. "It was the same thing."

Meier said they group suffered from salmonella, and they're not alone.

Federal investigators have been looking into a nationwide outbreak of the food borne illness that has sickened nearly 400 people in 42 states, including Oklahoma where at least two cases have been confirmed.

"States are working with federal officials and interviewing individuals that have been identified as part of this outbreak so we might be able to identify a common source," said Lawrrence Burnsed of the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

In the meantime, Meier is taking it easy and getting plenty of rest, but he said the illness won't stop him from eating out again.

"It just happens," Meier said. "I just kind of take it in stride."

The two Oklahoma cases that are confirmed to be part of the nationwide outbreak are in the northeastern part of the state. Both are said to be adolescents.

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.

Anyone who believes they could have salmonella is urged to contact a doctor.