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Health officials in North Carolina are reporting that 276 people have been infected with Salmonella Typhimurium after eating barbeque from the Tarheel Q restaurant, making it one of the largest outbreaks in North Carolina history. The outbreak has remained mostly local, with 77% of cases in North Carolina originating in either Davidson or Davie counties. However, cases have been reported from 21 North Carolina counties and 6 other states. Most of the victims (81%) began to present symptoms between Tuesday, June 16 and Sunday, June 21, 2015. About 18 of the victims needed to be hospitalized. There has been one death, after Mr. George Allen passed away from renal failure caused by Salmonella poisoning at the age of 94.
The outbreak was tied to the Tarheel Q restaurant in Lexington, North Carolina after samples from the barbeque and samples taken from the victims both tested positive for Salmonella Typhimurium. According to North Carolina Public Health Inspection reports, Tarheel Q has a history of Health violations, which includes the keeping of foods at temperatures that do not prevent the growth of bacteria. Reports indicate that 32 major health and safety violations have occurred, while 48 other violations have also been recorded. The restaurant reopened on July 1 after being voluntarily closed for more than a week.
Salmonella causes symptoms that include vomiting, stomach pain, fever, and diarrhea. Symptoms appear 12 to 72 hours after infection and generally last four to seven days. Those that are experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning should attempt to hydrate as much as possible. If symptoms do not improve or get worse, it is important to contact a medical professional.