high school gym.pngThe South Dakota Department of Health is “investigating a suspect food borne outbreak linked to a Tuesday evening basketball game in Pierre between Pierre and Mitchell.”   It appears that the number ill is roughly 50.  The pathogen has not been identified, but it is said to be a diarrheal illness of “short duration.”  

The health department has described the steps it is taking to identify the source of the outbreak:

An electronic food borne Illness questionnaire is being distributed today in the Pierre high school and middle school for staff and students. The questionnaire is intended to get a clear picture of how many people are ill, how severe the illness is and how long it lasts, the incubation period and the potential food source.

Schools have been the location of prior foodborne illness outbreaks.   In 1998, 11 students and children suffered E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to a taco-meal at the Finley Elementary School in Eastern Washington.   One child developed HUS.   Marler Clark’s attorney’s won a verdict of $4.6 million on behalf of the injured children.