Health officials look into salmonella cases

Seven recent cases of salmonella in the Mid-Columbia may be linked, but health officials said they have yet to identify a common cause.

Dr. Amy Person, the Benton Franklin Health District's health officer, told the district's board during a meeting Wednesday that the salmonella cases are spread across Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla and Grant counties.

The state Department of Health has done DNA testing on the bacteria and found that five of the cases have the same DNA signature, she said.

Health officials still are waiting for test results in the other two cases.

Person told the Herald that investigators haven't yet found a common contaminated food source to account for the outbreak.

She said the cases were reported in late June with no new cases reported since then, leading health officials to believe the outbreak is not ongoing.