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Salmonella outbreak impacts 11 continuing care residents in Red Deer

Points West Living working with Alberta Health Services to limit spread
Points West Living in Red Deer is working to limit a salmonella outbreak. (File photo)

Alberta Health Services says it is working with management and staff at Points West Living in Red Deer to limit the spread of a salmonella outbreak.

There have been 11 cases in residents and zero cases in staff since salmonella was first detected on March 25. No resident has had to be hospitalized as a result of this outbreak.

“Testing of residents and staff has been ordered,” AHS said in a statement.

“At this time, we do not know the source of the infection. AHS Environmental Public Health and Infection Prevention and Control teams have been on site at Points West carrying out inspections of the kitchen, reviewing food handling and hand hygiene practices, and providing recommendations for enhanced cleaning while the outbreak is occurring.”

No other facilities in the AHS Central Zone are experiencing an outbreak.

AHS said it is possible for salmonella to spread person-to-person, most commonly from persons with diarrhea and contaminated hands. Some persons without symptoms can shed the bacterium in stool for several weeks; however, good hand hygiene usually prevents further spread. Eating food contaminated from animal sources of infection is another common route of infection.

Salmonella infection often clears up without treatment, but in some cases hospitalization and severe illness may occur. The elderly and those with weaker immune systems are particularly at risk.

“The operator has been fully cooperative with investigations and implementing measures recommended to prevent infection in residents and staff,” AHS said.

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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