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Cleveland Co. salmonella count climbs to 54

The number of salmonella cases linked to a church barbecue fund raising event earlier this month has climbed to 54, the Cleveland County Health Department says.

Health officials say 10 of those sickened were hospitalized, but only one remained in the hospital as of Thursday evening.

The salmonella cases are linked to a Sept. 7 event at Sandy Plains Baptist Church near Shelby. First reports of the sickness came early this week, and the number of cases has increased steadily since then.

Officials say 29 cases are Cleveland County residents, with the others from Rutherford County. Eleven cases are confirmed and the other 43 suspected.

Anyone who brought home food purchased at the event should discard it, authorities say.

If you attended the event and have suffered salmonella symptoms – vomiting and diarrhea – you are asked to contact the Cleveland County Health Department, 704-484-5100; or the Rutherford County Health Department, 828-287-6100.

Steve Lyttle: 704-358-6107 Twitter: @slyttle
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