Dozens of people are sick and four have been hospitalized for an outbreak of Salmonella in Newton County, GA.

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

"We are still investigating the outbreak, including the identification of the source and the common points among the patients," the health department's announcement said.

"Many people have sought care with their GPs and / or urgent care, and at this time we are aware of four people 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 possible exposure to the bacteria. [19659002] The symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, usually begin 6 to 72 hours after exposure to the Salmonella bacteria. However, in some people it takes two weeks for the symptoms to develop.

Symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually last from four to seven days. Anyone can get sick with a Salmonella infection, but babies, children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of serious illness.

Some people may become infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show any symptoms, but they can still spread the infection to others.

Diseases can be reported by calling the county's foodborne disease hotline at 770-339-4BUG.

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