English health experts investigate Salmonella outbreak

LONDON Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:17am EDT

LONDON Aug 15 (Reuters) - English health authorities said on Friday they are investigating an outbreak of food poisoning that has affected 156 people in Britain and others in France and Austria.

Salmonella Enteritidis is a strain of bacteria that causes gastrointestinal illness and is often associated with poultry or eggs. Symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever.

Public Health England (PHE) said that over the past few months, 55 cases had been seen in the southern county of Hampshire and 25 in London while, further north, there had been 33 cases in Cheshire and 43 in the West Midlands. In France, 49 people had been affected while an unknown number of cases had also been reported in Austria.

"In England, the cases occurred as isolated clusters over several months and have been managed locally, but are now being reassessed as potentially linked under a national investigation," PHE said in a statement.

Tests had indicated that the cause of the illness was from a single source.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and, if there is any further public health action necessary, then we will ensure that this takes place," PHE added. (Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Kevin Liffey)