Dozens report illness, officials investigating link to local church BBQ

- Cabarrus Health Alliance officials are investigating after multiple reports of an illness has been possibly linked to a local church barbeque.

According to CHA, as of 11:00 a.m. Monday, Nov. 5, they've received more than 200 emails reporting for 468 people. Of those, 62 percent reported being ill and 38 percent reported no symptoms. 

CHA said those who are sick all ate food from Poplar Tent Presbyterian Church BBQ on November 1. Those ill are experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

CHA staff do not believe this illness is transmittable from person-to-person. Food and stool samples have been collected and the state lab will test for the cause of the illness. 

While officials say this is a 'small number of the people experiencing symptoms out of thousands' who ate there, there is concern and need for public outreach.

"We cannot say with absolute certainty that food from the BBQ is the culprit, but we do think it's important to let the community know just in case they have left overs," CHA said in a release.

The CHA is encouraging anyone who are at the BBQ to throw away any food they may have taken home with them.

Those who ate at the event are asked to email their name and contact information to investigation@cabarrushealth.org. Individuals who share their contact information will receive a link to an electronic questionnaire from the state to help further narrow down the source. 

Officials say those who are sick should stay hydrated and seek medical attention if symptoms do not improve in 24 hours and/or if they have a chronic health condition.

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