salmonellaThe North Carolina Division of Public Health reports that at least 197 people have been sickened from 14 North Carolina counties and 6 states in an outbreak of Salmonella that officials link to the Lexington Tarheel Q barbecue restaurant. Of these 197 cases, 54% are male, 43% are between the ages of 20 and 49, 20% have visited their medical provider, 11% have visited the emergency room and 7% have been hospitalized. Eighty-two percent of cases had illness onset dates between Tuesday, June 16, 2015, and Sunday, June 21, 2015.

All 197 people ate at Tarheel Q on West US Highway 64 in Lexington, in the days before falling ill, officials said. Eighty-nine percent of the people affected are from Davidson and Davie County.

Laboratory testing indicates that the BBQ sample and a sample from a patient who became ill during the beginning of the outbreak are both positive for Salmonella species. The serogroup was found to be Typhimurium. Both samples have the same PFGE pattern (i.e. DNA fingerprint). Over 20 additional clinical specimens are pending results at the state lab.