Dozens of people are sick and four have been admitted to hospitals in a Salmonella outbreak in Newton County, GA.

About 70 people have reported illnesses to the county health department, according to a notice posted Thursday afternoon. Health officials said the “confirmed outbreak” was initially reported to the county on May 4.

“We are still investigating the outbreak including identifying the source and commonalities among those that are ill,” the health department notice said.

“Many individuals have sought care with their primary physicians and/or urgent care. At this point we are aware of four individuals who were hospitalized due to their illness.”

Anyone in the area who has recently developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and ask their doctors about the possible exposure to the bacteria.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after exposure to Salmonella bacteria. However, in some people it takes two weeks for symptoms to develop.

Symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually last for four to seven days. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness.

It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show any symptoms, but they are still be able to spread the infection to others.

Illnesses can be reported by calling the county’s Foodborne Illness Hotline at 770-339-4BUG.

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