FILE - In this Monday, May 17, 2010 file photo, Dr. Mansour Samadpour points out a growth of of salmonella in a petri dish at IEH Laboratories in Lake Forest Park, Wash. The World Health Organization has issued a list of the top dozen bacteria most dangerous to humans, warning that doctors are fast running out of treatment options. In a press briefing on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 the U.N. health agency said its list is meant to promote the development of medicines for the most worrying drug-resistant bacteria, including Salmonellae and Staphylococus aureus. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)

Two dead after salmonella outbreak at personal care home in Winnipeg

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says the cause of the outbreak has not been discovered

Two people have died after testing positive for salmonella at a personal care home in Winnipeg, but health officials say it has not been confirmed whether the bacterial infection contributed to the deaths.

Three residents of the Golden West Centennial Lodge tested positive last month and two of them later died in hospital. The third person recovered.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says the cause of the outbreak has not been discovered.

“Public health and the facility notified residents, families and staff of the outbreak,” an emailed statement from the authority said Friday. “Given that the outbreak was contained to the care home, no further public notification was issued. This is usual practice during a limited outbreak.”

Joyce Kristjansson, the care home’s executive director, said staff brought in special measures while the outbreak was investigated. Residents were not allowed to move off their own floors, all group activities were cancelled and extra emphasis was put on hand-washing for people entering and leaving the building.

“What I would stress is that we do have a very frail population here and we did communicate with all of the families when we were first notified,” she said.

RELATED: Lee’s Tea recalled due to salmonella

Public health inspectors worked with the care home to try to determine how the outbreak began. The investigation included a kitchen inspection, but no signs of contamination were found.

Health officials lifted the measures on Tuesday and the cases were reported to a national intestinal monitoring program and the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.

Salmonella is a common bacteria that causes intestinal illness. Symptoms may include diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting. It is usually caused by eating contaminated foods that have not been cooked properly, but can also be spread from one person to another if people don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom.

Food safety expert Rick Holley, professor emeritus in food science at the University of Manitoba, said the rate of hospitalizations due to salmonella in Canada is about 20 cases per 100,0000 people. The federal government estimates there are about 87,500 cases each year.

Most people recover from the infection after about three days of feeling ill.

“But in about 10 per cent of the population — these would be folks that are older or very young, or those that would suffer a health condition that affects the operation of their immune system — there can be very serious effects” including death, he said.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recalled frozen chicken nuggets three times this year over fears of salmonella contamination.

If people cook their food properly and practice good hygiene, they can usually avoid serious issues with salmonella, Holley said.

“These organisms don’t fool around. They exist to multiply and grow, and they just love to grow at body temperature.”

Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mixed bag of weather ahead for Chilliwack

Week starts off with rain before clearing for sunnier days midweek

Watercolours by late Chilliwack artist to be unveiled at Yarrow Library

The public is invited to a special unveiling of three of Heinz Klassen’s watercolour paintings

Yarrow Library one of the stops on Cubetto’s grand tour

FVRL’s friendly wooden robot, Cubetto, travels throughout Fraser Valley to teach programming basics

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Chilliwack PEO: ‘We who are sisters’

International oganization celebrating 150 years of service

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

Most Read