Salmonella in Alamosa May Be Tied to Tap Water, Officials Say

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Denver (AP) State health officials are warning residents of Alamosa to stop drinking and cooking with tap water because it might be linked to a salmonella outbreak.

The state health department says 33 cases of salmonella have been confirmed and 46 other reports are being investigated in the Southern Colorado town.

Officials say tap water tested positive for bacteria believed to be salmonella but the results have not been confirmed.

A state health department spokesman says waterborne salmonella outbreaks are fairly rare. The bacteria are typically spread by food.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach pain. Victims typically recover on their own, but the elderly, infants and people with impaired immune systems may require treatment.

Health officials say salmonella can cause death in vulnerable victims if it's not treated.

Boiling water for 15 seconds will kill the bacteria, but health officials advise residents to use bottled water for brushing teeth, washing dishes, making ice, cooking, drinking and making baby formula.

They say people can use tap water to bathe as long as they are careful not to ingest it.

City officials plan to start flushing and disinfecting the water system in the next few days, a process that could take a week or more. While the flush is under way, no municipal water should be used, even if it is boiled, they said.