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BOONE — So far, 35 people have reported ill with gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain after a fundraiser event, according to an update from AppHealthCare. Health officials appreciate the ongoing reports from the public as the investigation continues.

Health officials continue to investigate the cause of the illnesses, which occurred from the Masonic Snow Lodge fundraiser barbecue held Friday, July 19.

“We are still actively working with state and local partners to identify the confirmed source of the illness,” said Jennifer Greene, AppHealthCare health director, in a July 22 statement. “If anyone still has purchased food or frozen food, it should be thrown away and not eaten since there is still a risk it could be contaminated. We want to reiterate ... heat may not kill what is making people sick. Some foodborne illnesses are not affected by heat.”

AppHealthCare is encouraging anyone who ate at the Masonic Lodge Barbecue on Friday, July 19, both ill and well, to email their name and contact information to investigation@apphealth.com. Respondents will be sent a short survey about the event, foods eaten and symptoms if ill in order to help AppHealthCare and state officials with the ongoing investigation. Those who can’t fill out the electronic survey are asked to call AppHealthCare directly at (828) 264-4995, extension 2110.

“We are saddened by this news, and we are committed to working closely with the health department as they continue their investigation. We urge folks to follow the guidance shared by the health department,” said Kenny Kaufman, master of the Boone Masonic Lodge, on July 19.

Symptoms

If you are experiencing symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, stay home and if you work in a high risk setting such as childcare, food service, or health care you should stay out of work until you no longer have symptoms. Take proper precautions and treatment for dehydration.

Talk to your health care provider if you have any symptoms associated with gastrointestinal illnesses that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.

Common Foodborne Illnesses and Symptoms

The most common foodborne illnesses are norovirus, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter. In most affected persons, symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea, but in some cases, such life-threatening complications as organ failure occur.

In severe cases, foodborne illnesses can cause serious acute illness, long-term health problems or death. Young children, pregnant women, adults over 65, and people with weak immune systems are more likely to get food poisoning, and if they do get sick they might have more severe symptoms.

According to the CDC, see your doctor or healthcare provider if you have:

• High fever (temperature over 102°F, measured orally).

• Blood in the stools.

• Frequent vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down.

• Signs of dehydration, including a decrease in urination, a dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up.

• Diarrheal illness that lasts more than 3 days

For additional information about this event and more from AppHealthCare call 828-264-4995 or visit our website at www.apphealthcare.com and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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