Salmonella outbreak affects 21 people at Mayo hospital


TWENTY ONE people have been affected by a salmonella outbreak at the Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar, it has been confirmed. The outbreak was first noticed the week before Christmas. Only one victim is still at the hospital where routine admissions have been postponed until tomorrow, when a review will take place.

Two strains of the disease have been detected. One strain, which has affected 17 people, is thought to be hospital related. The other, thought to have originated in the community, has affected four people.

But the sources of the outbreak may never be established, according to Western Health Board spokesman, Dr Gerry Fogarty. All food samples checked to date have been clear and frequently the infection source cannot be positively identified.

The disease incubates for 12 to 72 hours, after which the patient may suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. This can last a few days but could be longer where a patient is frail. It can be treated with antibiotics, but generally is allowed run its course unless the patient is particularly ill.

A major concern is that victims may become dehyrated, so saline drips are often used to prevent this.