Salmonella Outbreak in the ACT Media Release

Canberra is experiencing an outbreak of gastroenteritis, in some cases caused by Salmonella bacteria.
A large number of people have become unwell enough to require medical assessment and treatment.
Symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting
and headaches. Sometimes diarrhoea can contain blood or mucus.
Symptoms usually start 12-36 hours after a person becomes infected and usually last from 4-7 days.
Many cases do not need medical treatment and resolve themselves. People experiencing symptoms
of gastroenteritis should ensure they remain well hydrated by drinking fluids.
People should seek medical attention if they experience severe abdominal pain, cannot eat or drink,
vomit blood or have blood in their bowel movements, or experience an elevated fever.
If you are experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis you should consult your general practitioner.
The Emergency Departments of both The Canberra Hospital and Calvary Hospital are treating a
large number of cases and may experience delays in treating non-emergency cases. People should
only seek treatment at The Canberra Hospital or Calvary Hospital if they feel they are experiencing
a medical emergency.
Medical services are also available from
 the Canberra After Hours Locum Service (CALMS) (fees apply). Bookings by phone
1300 422 567 after 6pm.
 The Walk In Centre at Canberra Hospital. This is open from 7am-11pm with no
bookings necessary.
Salmonella is spread when people eat food contaminated by the bacteria. This can happen if
Salmonella is present in inadequately cooked food, or sometimes if food is contaminated by a person
who has Salmonella infection.
People experiencing symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis should avoid preparing food (including
working in food preparation or service) while they are unwell.
Further information is available on the ACT Health Website on
Statement Ends 14 May 2014
Media Contacts Alexandra Kellar (02)62050837 or 0466 655 136
GPO Box 825 Canberra ACT 2601 | phone: 132281 |