In October 23, 2017, officials with the Louisiana Department of Health provided the most recent case counts of individuals who had been identified with a gastrointestinal illness related to the food poisoning outbreak in Caldwell Parish.
158 people were identified with gastrointestinal illness. 40 people have been hospitalized. The health department investigated a death that may have been associated with the outbreak. Officials worked with the pathologist responsible for the autopsy and CDC to determine if post-mortem testing could be performed by the CDC. The ages of those with a confirmed illness ranged from 10 years old to 82, with the mean age being 37.
In addition to the Salmonella, health officials also identified a second pathogen, C. perfringens, that caused some of the illnesses. Clostridium perfringens is a bacterium commonly found on raw meat and poultry.
Dr. Parham Jaberi, assistant state health officer, said the second pathogen may explain why so many people became ill and why it happened so quickly.
Health officials tested samples of the jambalaya meals that were believed to be responsible for the outbreak. 19 food samples were tested with five testing positive for Salmonella.
Marler Clark represented several of the individuals who became ill in this outbreak. All illness claims have been resolved at this time.