By Jean Cole
At least six cases of salmonella poisoning have been confirmed in Limestone County, and officials believe those who fell ill may have contracted it at an annual bean dinner fundraiser held Friday in Athens.
Athens-Limestone Hospital had confirmed six cases of infection by the bacterium by afternoon Monday, said Kelli Powers, chief executive officer of Athens-Limestone Hospital.
"We have seen dozens of people Saturday, Sunday and today with mainly diarrhea but also vomiting and nausea," Powers said. "There are about 24 people in our waiting room right now who have been waiting about an hour with symptoms."
None of those with confirmed cases had been admitted to the hospital, only treated for symptoms, she said.
Although the hospital confirmed the presence of salmonella through stool specimens, Powers said the Alabama Department of Public Health has been notified and would be testing food leftover from the bean dinner.
Powers said she might have a more accurate estimate of the number of people treated at the hospital later today or Tuesday.