As of October 23, officials with the Louisiana Department of Health are providing the most recent case counts of individuals who have been identified with a gastrointestinal illness related to the food poisoning outbreak in Caldwell Parish.
- 158 people have been identified with gastrointestinal illness.
- 40 people have been hospitalized, with almost all now discharged.
- The health department is continuing to investigate a death that may be associated with the outbreak. Officials are working with the pathologist responsible for the autopsy and CDC to determine if post-mortem testing can be performed by the CDC.
- The ages of those with a confirmed illness range from 10 years old to 82, and mean age is 37.
In addition to the Salmonella, health officials have also identified a second pathogen, C. perfringens, that is also causing some of the illnesses. Clostridium perfringens is a bacterium commonly found on raw meat and poultry.
Dr. Parham Jaberi, assistant state health officer, said the second pathogen may explain why so many people have gotten ill and became ill so quickly.
Health officials are also testing samples of the jambalaya meals that are believed to be responsible for the outbreak. To date, 19 food samples have been tested with five testing positive for Salmonella. The results for the remaining 14 samples are still pending, and state officials are sending the samples to the CDC for further testing.
Reporting an Illness
Epidemiologists with the Louisiana Department of Health remind people who might have eaten the jambalaya meal to call (800) 256-2748.
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. To learn more about LDH, visit www.ldh.la.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account, Facebook and blog.