Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: October 11, 2017
DOVER, DE (October 11, 2017) - Delawareans who attended the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook-Off, in Chincoteague, Virginia, on September 30, 2017, 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.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.