Staphylococcus aureus toxin found in Montgomery daycare illness investigation

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Public health continues its investigation into an illness that has sent 86 children to the hospital.

Clinical laboratories found Staphylococcus aureus toxin in several food products served at both locations of the Sunnyside Child Care Center in Montgomery.

The children have been treated for symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and lethargy.

The health department says clinical samples were all negative for Norovirus and are being tested for other pathogens like Salmonella, Shigella and E. coli. Those results are pending.

Public health environmentalists are working with the facility on proper food handling to avoid future food-related outbreaks. They also hope to keep a reoccurrence from happening.

A kitchen at one child care center prepares meals for children at both affected day cares. Both centers have been inspected, and samples have been collected for testing.

The investigation started on Tuesday, when a concerned parent contacted the Health Department to report the suspected outbreak. More than 300 children attend the two day care centers. The department closed the kitchen, and has asked the child care centers to stay closed until the investigation is complete. That will also allow for thorough cleaning and prevention measures to be implemented.

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