Authorities investigate West Point salmonella outbreak

WEST POINT, Neb. -- Authorities in West Point, Nebraska are investigating an outbreak of salmonella. Fifteen confirmed and 6 probable cases have surfaced.

The Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services are handling the investigation.

They are currently working to identify the source of the outbreak and eliminate the risk.

Salmonella is caused by a bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. It is usually spread to humans by eating contaminated food, including beef, poultry, milk, eggs, or vegetables. Thorough cooking kills salmonella.

Although a cause has not yet been identified, thorough hand-washing with soap and warm water for 60 seconds before handling or eating food and after using the bathroom is always recommended.

Symptoms of salmonella include fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with Salmonella should contact their doctor for recommendations on testing and treatment.