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WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: ILLNESSES IN WESTERN WASHINGTON LINKED TO JACK-IN-THE-BOX

 OLYMPIA, Wash., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- After dozens of interviews with children and adults, state and local health officials have linked the recent outbreak of bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain to Jack-in- the-Box restaurants in Western Washington, the Washington State Department of Health said today.
 As of this afternoon, more than 50 children and adults had been treated for the illnesses, which are associated with a bacterium commonly found in under-cooked beef. Symptoms usually come on three to four days after eating the under-cooked food.
 More severe complications, including kidney problems, have occurred in several patients. Seven children are currently on kidney dialysis at Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle.
 The majority of cases have been in King County, though about 15 children are reported ill in Pierce and Snohomish counties.
 Officials of Jack-in-the-Box restaurants are working cooperatively with state health officials in tracking the bacterium.
 There are two primary recommendations for preventing the spread of this and other infections related to food:
 -- Wash hands thoroughly after using the bathroom, or changing diapers, or before preparing any food; and
 -- Cook ground beef and other raw meat thoroughly before eating it. As a good health practice, all food preparers should assure that all ground beef is cooked to 155 degrees Fahrenheit.
 The Washington State Department of Health, along with local health agencies in Seattle-King County, Snohomish County and Pierce County are investigating this current outbreak, which began late last week.
 -0- 1/18/93
 /CONTACT: Dean R. Owen of the Washington State Department of Health, 206-753-3934 or 206-786-2264 (pager)/


CO: Washington State Department of Health; Jack-in-the-Box ST: Washington IN: SU:

LM-GT -- SE009 -- 6032 01/18/93 17:24 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 18, 1993
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