(Accomac, Va.) –The Accomack County Health Department and the Foodborne Disease Team from the Virginia Department of Health continue to investigate an outbreak of gastro-intestinal illnesses that may be related to the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook Off held Saturday, September 30, 2017. Late yesterday the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (state laboratory) in Richmond, Virginia identified Salmonella in specimens that they have received that are associated with the event.
The investigation is still ongoing with regards to what food or food items may have caused the outbreak.
The Accomack County Health Department continues to try to reach the more than 2000 event attendees from multiple states, not only to ask them to submit information to the online outbreak survey that will help answer investigation questions, but also to advise anyone who is still ill to contact their primary care provider, if they have not already. Anyone still experiencing severe symptoms including but not limited to dehydration, severe vomiting, or diarrhea is advised to go to the emergency room or urgent care center if their primary care provider is not available.
The media, including social media, have been an asset to the investigation by sharing the survey link and helping us to reach many that attended the event. So far, we have heard from over 350 attendees but there are many we still haven’t heard from. We ask all attendees, workers volunteers, and paying customers, whether ill or well, to please complete the online survey if you have not already. That link can be found here: www.vdh.virginia.gov/eastern-shore/. Thank you to everyone who has assisted the Accomack County Health Department in the investigation so far. We have devoted every available resource we have to this Foodborne Outbreak and our staff, as well as the staffs of other state agencies, continue to work hard to answer the questions that the public has asked. We will continue to share information with you as soon as we are able to do so.