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Yellowstone County is among eight counties in Montana in which state and county public health authorities are working together to investigate a cluster of Salmonella cases.

Other counties are in Cascade, Fergus, Flathead, Gallatin, Lewis & Clark, Park and Musselshell counties in Montana, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

To date, 11 confirmed Salmonella cases with identical genetic markers and two suspected cases have been identified, according to DPHHS. Ill persons are being interviewed to obtain information about foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before their illness began.

At this time, the investigation is ongoing.

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“Every effort is being made to identify a common source quickly and to protect consumers from any products or practices that may be unsafe,” said Dana Fejes, foodborne epidemiologist with the Department of Public Health and Human Services, in a news release.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most individuals recover without treatment. In some cases, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness. Anyone experiencing the symptoms above is encouraged to contact their health care provider.

Many of these types of outbreaks are foodborne-related, so Fejes reminds Montanans to always wash vegetables and cook meats appropriately. “Many people may be harvesting garden vegetables and enjoying burgers this time of year so please wash your vegetables and cook meats to proper temperatures to avoid foodborne diseases,” Fejes added in the release.