Health Department investigating outbreak of E. Coli in Alexander County

Health Department investigating outbreak of E. Coli in Alexander County
Source: Pixabay

TAYLORSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - The Alexander County Health Department is investigating the possibility of an E. Coli outbreak in the area.

The Health Department received numerous reports of illness from people who ate at a local restaurant on Wednesday, June 20.

According to Health Director Leeanne Whisnant, one person tested positive for E. Coli (EPEC) with more than 30 individuals reporting illness after consuming chicken at Mexico Viejo in Taylorsville at the Highway 90 East location.

Most of the reports involved symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea within several hours of eating at the restaurant.

Whisnant said she believes this is an isolated event, as the department has had no reports of illness after eating at the restaurant since Wednesday.

She noted that affected people who were interviewed have all improved or recovered.

For those who continue to have symptoms, the health department is advising them to stay well-hydrated and seek medical attention if symptoms do not subside or get worse.

Whisnant said the health department sent Environmental Health Specialists to the restaurant on Friday to conduct an inspection of the restaurant.

The health department is also working with the State Communicable Disease Branch and the State Environmental Health Division on this outbreak.

E. coli is bacteria that causes severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and sometimes fever. Some infections are very mild.

Very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop potentially life-threatening complications.

The Alexander County Health Department advises the public to wash hands, and especially children's hands, as young toddlers with E. coli can easily spread the infection in childcare settings and at home. Antibiotics should not be used to treat this infection.

If you ate at this restaurant on Wednesday, June 20 and are having symptoms of E. coli, please contact the Alexander County Health Department at (828) 632-9704.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.