Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

March 7, 2001 | Volume 2, Issue 3

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Daycare Center Outbreak Linked To Famous Mascot Visit

Unsuspecting children sick for weeks; parents enraged

ATLANTA, GA—Officials at the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) say that the recent spate of gastroenteritis at Virginia's Tyson's Corner Child Care Center has been directly traced to a visit to the facility last week by the San Diego Chicken.

According to witnesses, the visit itself seemed innocuous enough, as the world-famous mascot of the San Diego Padres entertained the audience of approximately fifty young boys and girls with its trademark brand of slapstick humor and physical comedy.

The San Diego Chicken

As always during the Chicken's hour-long show, children were encouraged to meet the fun-loving fowl up close, where autographs and hugs were issued with hearty enthusiasm.

All in attendance left "in good cheer," according to a CDC spokesman. However, by the next morning, dozens of children were complaining of abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, with sixteen preschoolers eventually requiring hospitalization.

Preliminary epidemiologic investigation by the CDC determined the cause of the outbreak to be a specific bacteria often associated with Chickens, Salmonella montevideo.

Further testing of feces obtained from the San Diego Chicken itself revealed high levels of S. montevideo, thereby clinching the diagnosis.

"These types of infections are common in children since they touch all sorts of things and don't wash their hands too often," said Dr. Maurice Green, a researcher with the CDC.

"Proper hygeine is important, and remember to cook Chickens thoroughly prior to eating."

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