Closings and delays

Salmonella investigation expands to Davie County, 70 potentially sick after eating at barbecue restaurant

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LEXINGTON, N.C. — An additional 40 people have been identified with signs and symptoms consistent with salmonellosis -- this time in Davie County.

The Davidson County and Davie County health departments this week began working with the N.C. Division of Public Health to investigate a gastrointestinal illness outbreak among patrons of a local restaurant. As of Tuesday, the health departments had identified more than 30 individuals in Davidson County with signs and symptoms consistent with salmonellosis.

On Wednesday, the investigation expanded to include 40 additional people in Davie County.

Health officials said all people with symptoms ate at Tarheel Q, located at 6835 West U.S. 64 in Lexington, several days before becoming ill.

CITASVuUMAATpfaAt least seven of the individuals had to be hospitalized due to their illness.

A sign posted on the door Wednesday said the restaurant would close until Monday, June 29, "to ensure all areas of our operation are of the highest standard."

Though inspectors are still working to figure out the source of contamination, the restaurant was asked to clean and sanitize all surfaces including the walk-in refrigerator.

Every year, salmonella is estimated to cause one million illnesses in the United States, with 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most persons infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. However, for some, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

Anyone who became ill with diarrhea within four days after eating at Tarheel Q on or after June 6 is asked to call the Davidson County Health Department at (336) 236-3096.