GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Public health officials are investigating a cluster of Salmonella cases linked to a Grants Pass restaurant that has resulted in two hospitalizations, according to Josephine County Public Health.
The agency said that multiple cases of documented Salmonella were "potentially linked" to Si Casa Flores on NE Beacon Drive. Public health officials inspected the restaurant and collected 17 specimens for lab testing, with results expected this weekend.
"Si Casa Flores Corporation has been working closely with Public Health specialists to identify the source of the outbreak and ensure the continued safety of Si Casa customers," Josephine County Public Health said in a statement.
Due to ingredients shared between local restaurants, state and local authorities are asking that anyone who has eaten at three Si Casa Flores-owned locations in Grants Pass from June 25 to July 7 complete an online survey. This includes the Beacon Drive location, the NW F Street location, and the Xpress trailer on Union Avenue.
"The purpose of the survey is to gather information needed to assist in the attempt to identify the source of infection," public health officials said. "Information is needed from both sick and well customers to identify food items associated with the illness. Those experiencing symptoms should contact their primary care physician."
The CDC lists Salmonella as a strain of bacteria that can cause infection, resulting in diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually begin six hours to six days after infection and last four to seven days — however, some people do not develop symptoms for several weeks after infection and others experience symptoms for several weeks.
"Salmonella strains sometimes cause infection in urine, blood, bones, joints or the nervous system and can cause severe disease," public health officials said. "Most people recover from Salmonella infection within four to seven days without antibiotics. People who are sick with a Salmonella infection should drink extra fluids as long as diarrhea lasts."
Josephine County Public Health said that the likelihood of containing the outbreak in Josephine County is "moderate to high." The CDC estimates Salmonella cause about 1.35 million illnesses, 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths in the United States every year.