More cases reported; but illness is not spreading

Sep. 21, 2013 @ 06:04 AM

Public health officials are continuing investigation of an outbreak of sickness after a barbecue fundraiser at Sandy Plains Baptist Church on Sept. 7 in Cleveland County.

The investigation has crossed state lines and has also been reported in other counties as the number of sick people continues to rise, said Helen White, nursing supervisor at the Rutherford County Health Department. 

However, health officials said it is important to note that although new cases are being reported, the most recent date of illness onset for all cases is Sept.14 — six days ago.

This indicates the illness is not continuing to spread.

On Friday, White said she fielded calls calls from Charlotte, Gaston County and Spartanburg, S.C. of reported illness from people who attended the barbecue.

As of late Friday, a total of 71 caseshave been reported. There are 37 cases from Rutherford and 35 cases from Cleveland County, all confirmed cases.

A total of 13 people have been hospitalized, nine from Cleveland County and four from Rutherford County.

Three people from Cleveland County are still in the hospital.

The Rutherford County and Cleveland County public health departments are collaborating with the North Carolina  Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health in the investigation.

White said anyone who attended the event and became ill with intestinal symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, should consult a doctor or the health department immediately.

She also asks those who may have gone to the barbecue and didn't get sick to call the health department.

Call the Rutherford County Health Department at (828) 287-6100 for other information.