The number of confirmed Salmonella illnesses who have recently been treated at Magnolia Regional Medical Center in Corinth, Mississippi, now stands at 22.  This cluster of illnesses was first announced by hospital officials several days ago.  There is no public word on what strain of Salmonella is involved, or whether public health knows for sure that the illnesses are related, but it certainly seems like an active investigation into a point-source outbreak–i.e. an outbreak where people are getting sick from one spot.

News reports state that one restaurant, Don Julio’s, “closed voluntarily.”  Is that a “voluntary” closure like a “voluntary” recall?  Or would it be better to just leave the voluntary out of recalls and restaurant closures altogether.  An outbreak where people may still be getting sick is not the time to save face; its a time to simply do what it takes to make sure the illnesses stop.

In any event, press accounts have it that health officials had found no evidence of any food contamination at the restaurant, and it was not ordered to close, read a sign on the door.  Of course, evidence of food contamination at the restaurant really doesn’t matter if the epidemiological evidence implicates Don Julio’s food.  From the outside looking in, this looks a little like a Don Julio’s Salmonella outbreak.