Buncombe County health officials said on Thursday that the strain of salmonella affecting dozens of people has less severe symptoms.
Health officials said their continued testing confirmed that the bacteria associated with the Buncombe County outbreak was salmonella paratyphi B.
"The good news is that it is a particular strain that causes symptoms that are less severe and doesn't require control measures that are quite as strict," said Gaylen Ehrlichman, Health Promotion Program supervisor for the county.
The good news helps some of the infected cases because now some of them may be able to return to work as early as Thursday, Ehrlichman said.
With less severe symptoms, health officials said new cases will not be required to take antibiotics unless they have special health issues.
The public was first alerted to the outbreak on April 27 when 27 illness cases had been reported. As of Wednesday, that number had risen to 38.
On Monday, soybean cake manufacturer Smiling Hara made at Asheville's Blue Food Ventures recalled tempeh for possible salmonella contamination.
Salmonella is a family of bacteria, but the strain at the center of this outbreak is found in the intestines of humans, officials said. They said it can be spread from person to person or by eating food or drinking water contaminated with feces of an infected person.
For further information on the outbreak, symptoms, treatment and contacting officials, visit www.buncombecounty.org or call the hotline at 828-250-5109.
The public is encouraged to call the communicable disease nurses to report symptoms of salmonella contamination at 828-250-5109.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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