Health Department investigating possible Montgomery day care center illness outbreak

Local News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) – UPDATEX3: The Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed in a press release that the food samples taken from several food products at Sunnyside Day Care Center grew Staphylococcus aureus toxin producing bacteria, which matched samples taken from the children who fell ill after consuming food at the center.

Public health environmentalists have worked with the center to avoid any reoccurence and prevent future food-related outbreaks.

Operations at the facility resumed Monday.UPDATEX2: The Department of Public Health determined Friday that the SunnySide Child Care Center complied with necessary training and operational requirements. As a result, the emergency order closure has been lifted.

According to a press release, the Montgomery County Environmental Staff will continue to monitor food handling operations.

Results of laboratory test results on clinical samples for enteric pathogens such as Salmonella, Shigella and E. coli are pending, as are additional laboratory test results.UPDATE: A Montgomery family has filed a lawsuit against the daycare center. 

The Alabama Department of Public Health has identified bacteria in food that was served at the two Sunnyside Child Care Centers Tuesday. Health officials say the samples they took from the kitchen tested negative for norovirus.

They’re now being evaluated for other pathogens, including salmonella and E.coli.

ORIGINAL: The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating reports of a widespread illness at a daycare in Montgomery.

According to a news release from the Department of Public Health on Wednesday, 86 children at two day care centers were seen at three Montgomery area hospitals in association with the potential outbreak. The children exhibited symptoms, of lethargy, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramps.

A total of thirty children were hospitalized. All but one were discharged as of Wednesday.

The suspected outbreak was reported on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 23 when a parent contacted the Health Department. A kitchen at the Sunnyside Child Care Center on S. Court prepares meals for children at that center as well as the Sunnyside Child Care Center on Norman Bridge Road.

The Health Department closed the kitchen Wednesday and requested that the child care centers remain closed during the investigation.

In addition, State Health Officer Donald Williamson M.D., advised parents not to take ill children who attended either Sunnyside Child Care Center to any other day care providers while the investigation is ongoing.

“Although we realize this will be inconvenient for families, caution is the appropriate public health prevention measure at this time,” Dr. Williamson stated in the press release. “We urge all parents to follow guidelines for child care admittance, such as being free of fever and other symptoms for 24 hours before returning to day care.”

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