(Dover, Del) - Delawareans who attended the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook-Off on Saturday, September 30, are being asked to complete an online survey in the wake of a foodborne illness outbreak associated with the event. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) began investigating a gastrointestinal disease outbreak shortly after a number of people who attended the event developed nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Illness in a Delaware resident who reportedly attended the event may be linked.
VDH reached out to neighboring states' health departments, including the Delaware Division of Public Health, and asked for assistance in getting their residents to complete the survey, whether they became ill or not. The survey can be found at https://redcap.vdh.virginia.gov/redcap/surveys/?s=RPPDH7DWDF. VDH estimates 2,500 attendees from multiple states were present at the cook-off. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional questions should call the Accomack County, Virginia Health Department at 757-302-4268.
About one in six Americans each year becomes ill from foodborne diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of that number - totaling about 48 million people -128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 people die.
Symptoms of foodborne disease typically include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Additional symptoms may include fever, headache, malaise, muscle ache, loss of appetite, weight loss, chills, and dehydration. In addition, serious illness sometimes can follow a gastrointestinal illness, including a severe kidney condition called HUS that can happen after illness caused by E.coli infections.
For more information and resources on Delaware food safety, visit http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dph/hsp/foodsafety.html.