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Salmonella Fells 300 in Norway

February 12, 1999

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ Contaminated drinking water caused an outbreak of salmonella on a Norwegian island, leaving up to 300 people ill and raising fears Friday of the bacteria spreading to fishing boats that called on the port.

Health authorities Friday said there were 25 confirmed cases of salmonella and that the total number was probably closer to 300, the Norwegian news agency NTB said.

Drinking water for about 4,500 people on the island of Heroey, roughly 435 miles north of Oslo, was tainted by supplies from a back-up reservoir.

Heroey’s chief municipal physician, Petter Wetterberg, told NTB that less than 10 percent of those stricken by the bacteria were likely to seek medical attention, so 25 confirmed cases indicates a far larger outbreak.

News reports said the Heroey outbreak was among the worst in Norway in 20 years.

The state Fisheries Directorate on Friday said it feared the bacteria could have spread to fishing boats that bought ice produced from contaminated water. It was tracking down trawlers that had docked in Heroey for testing.

Update hourly