The Douglas County Health Department is investigating a report of a salmonella outbreak connected with an Omaha child care center, officials said Tuesday.

Phil Rooney, a Health Department spokesman, said the department received reports of an infectious illness. An epidemiological investigation led to the child care center.

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Elite Childcare Academy, near 108th Street and John Galt Boulevard, has closed voluntarily during the investigation. Rooney said staff there have been working cooperatively with the county.

The facility enrolls about 100 children, he said. A tally of affected children and staff is not yet available. Salmonella has an incubation period of between six and 72 hours, so some cases may be yet to develop. A source has not been determined.

“It’s a matter of sanitation, usually,” Rooney said.

Symptoms of salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, fever and chills. Patients usually recover in a few days without treatment.

Thorough hand-washing is the best way to prevent the illness. Those who are ill should stay home and avoid handling or preparing food.

Julie Anderson is a medical reporter for The World-Herald. She covers health care and health care trends and developments, including hospitals, research and treatments. Follow her on Twitter @JulieAnderson41. Phone: 402-444-1066.

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