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New salmonella case confirmed in worker

Corydon Ireland and Alan Morrell

Democrat and Chronicle

One additional food worker at the Brook-Lea County Club has a confirmed case of salmonella poisoning, bringing the total to nine.

About 50 workers were tested at the 76-year-old private club, in connection with an outbreak of the food-borne illness there from June 1 to June 18.

There have been 88 total cases of the bacterial illness confirmed so far, said John Ricci, spokesman for the Monroe County Health Department.

Salmonellosis, usually traced to improper food handling, can cause severe abdominal illness that includes cramps, bloody diarrhea and high fever.

Of the total confirmed cases, 64 have been linked to Brook-Lea. The other 24 have not yet been fully investigated, Ricci said.

"They may be linked or they may not be linked," he said. "We have to reach these people, one-by-one, then there's a long interview process."

Ricci said investigators still have no "working theory" about the origins of the Brook-Lea salmonella outbreak, which is on pace to be one of the largest of its kind in county history.

Many of those with confirmed cases have signed on with lawyers, who are investigating the potential for legal action.

About 40 of those are now clients of Marler Clark, a Seattle law firm that specializes in food liability issues.

A Rochester attorney, Paul V. Nunes, agreed Monday to be Marler Clark's local counsel.

Nunes, a veteran toxic torts attorney, is chief of litigation at the firm Underberg & Kessler.

"This is not a case of a few people having tummy aches," he said. "This (outbreak) is serious and should be taken seriously."

Depending on the strain, salmonellosis can cause long-term health consequences, including chronic arthritis, painful urination and bowel disorders.

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