Casey Blake of the Asheville Citizen Times reported today that the number of reported cases in a three-month Buncombe-based – Tempeh caused – Salmonella Paratyphi B outbreak is still climbing. The total number of reported cases linked to the outbreak was 83 as of Friday afternoon, 62 of which involved residents of Buncombe County. The total count includes cases of people who visited or otherwise had connections to Buncombe County and were believed to have been exposed to the bacteria here.
Agriculture officials have isolated the strain of salmonella that struck in late February — called paratyphi B — to one ingredient: A starter culture distributed by Tempeh Online of Rockville, Maryland to local company Smiling Hara Tempeh.
Paratyphi B is a rare type of salmonella in part because it has a 30-day incubation period as opposed to one to 10 days found in more common types. The disease causes diarrhea that may be bloody, high fever, headache and abdominal pain. It is rarely fatal but can be dangerous to the young, elderly or people with weak immune systems.