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BOONE — Health officials urge individuals who have eaten or purchased food from the Masonic Snow Lodge fundraiser barbecue held Friday, July 19, at 240 Temple Drive, Boone, to monitor for any gastrointestinal symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.

There have been eight laboratory confirmed cases of a foodborne illness and a number of others who have presented with similar symptoms of gastrointestinal complaints who all ate at the barbecue fundraiser, AppHealthCare, the local health department, stated at 10 p.m. July 19.

“We do not have a confirmed source of the illness but are actively conducting a thorough investigation to determine it with support from the N.C. Division of Public Health, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Watauga County Emergency Management and the Masonic Lodge. Any purchased food should be thrown away and not eaten since there is a risk it could be contaminated,” said Jennifer Greene, health director.

AppHealthCare staff are working closely with the Masonic Snow Lodge members who are fully cooperating with the investigation.

“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.

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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