Water Alert

(03-19-2008)

The City of Alamosa has been placed on "bottled water only" restriction by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, following an outbreak of salmonella sickness, according to the Valley Courier. Do not drink water from campus taps or fountains. They are all supplied by Alamosa water.

ASC Food Service (Sodexho) has discontinued use of municipal water and is preparing all food with bottled water. The Food Service is taking all necessary precautions and is stocking bottled water, juice, and pop. Food Service will be open, but cafeteria options will be somewhat limited.

Get more information

City residents who receive water through the city's water system are told not to drink tap water, and instead, drink only bottled water. (Please make an effort to recycle plastic bottles.) Detailed information and directions for water use are posted on Alamosa Cable Channel 10.

For the official announcement from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, CLICK HERE.

According to the Alamosa County Nursing Office, numerous cases of salmonella have been reported in Alamosa County.

Salmonella symptoms and prevention

Salmonella is a common bacteria that can cause serious illness. It usually comes from food contaminated by animal feces. Raw poultry is a big source of the illness, although any food - meat, vegetables, fruit - may become contaminated with the bacteria. Signs of salmonella sickness include three or more loose stools - diarrhea - over 24 hours, a fever over 100 degrees, and stomach cramping. The illness usually lasts four to seven days and the symptoms may show anytime within 12 to 72 hours after infection. Those who suspect they've contracted the bacteria are urged to see a health care provider. Most adults recover in five to seven days without treatment, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga., as long as they stay hydrated. The elderly and small children, and those with immune deficiencies, are those most likely to suffer severe effects from the illness. Washing hands frequently and thoroughly cooking food are two preventive measures.

There are ways to keep from getting it. It is important to cook poultry, meats and eggs thoroughly. Heat destroys the bacteria. It is important to wash the cutting board and knife very well before cutting anything else, especially if you are handling uncooked poultry or meat. Wash hands after handling pets or cleaning pet cages, and keep children away from animal droppings.

You can keep from spreading it if you be sure to WASH YOUR HANDS after going to the bathroom, before fixing food, or before wiping children's faces. People who are sick should not prepare food if it can be avoided. Those who prepare food outside the home should not return to work until your doctor tells you it's okay. Washing hands after changing a baby's diaper is absolutely necessary.

The only way to know if salmonella is present when you have diarrhea is by seeing your doctor who may order a stool culture.