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For Release: August 25, 2008
Contact: Larry Weatherford
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Situation Update No. 1:
Outbreak of Severe Diarrheal Illness in Northeastern Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is investigating an outbreak of severe diarrheal illness among residents of several northeastern Oklahoma communities. At least 14 cases have been hospitalized and 20 or more potential cases are under investigation. One person has died.

Disease investigators from the OSDH, Tulsa Health Department, and several northeastern Oklahoma county health departments are looking at all likely sources, including restaurants and specific food sources. Early investigation indicates a large number of persons who became ill ate at the Country Cottage restaurant in Locust Grove, OK. The restaurant is working closely with the OSDH to assist in the investigation. No source has been identified.

State public health laboratory officials are conducting confirmatory testing of specimens to try to determine the diagnosis.

Persons who have become ill are from a number of communities including Bixby, Pryor, Sand Springs, Locust Grove, Broken Arrow, Peggs, Tulsa, and McAlester.

Signs and symptoms of these cases include diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and severe abdominal cramping. Fever is generally mild to absent. Persons who believe they have symptoms of this illness should contact their health care provider immediately.

Northeast Oklahoma Gastrointestinal Illness Outbreak Updates

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