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Dozens sickened after attending Rifle Rodeo

Alex Zorn / Post Independent

Garfield County Public Health officials are working to pinpoint the cause of a disease outbreak after receiving dozens of calls from people with gastrointestinal complaints who attended the Rifle Rodeo on Monday.

The department asks anybody who attended the event at the Garfield County Fairgrounds to call 970-625-5200, extension 8128, even if they are not ill.

“It appears that people became ill approximately six hours following the end of the rodeo event Monday night,” Billy Harkins, environmental health specialist with the Garfield County Consumer Protection Program, said in a news release Thursday.

“We are still investigating the cause of the outbreak, and are taking all possible factors into consideration,” Harkins said. “The total number of individuals who became ill and the duration of their illness has not been confirmed.”

Garfield County officials are working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to determine the cause of the illness.

The department began receiving calls Tuesday from residents with gastrointestinal complaints. Symptoms included nausea, cramping and diarrhea.

Julia Donohoue emailed the Post Independent about the outbreak, saying she was ill Monday night and all day Tuesday after eating at the event. She said she had a pulled pork sandwich and potato salad.

People who attended the event are asked to leave a phone message with phone contact information. A public health representative will return the call to complete a brief questionnaire that will help to track down the source of the outbreak.


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