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The next time you think something you ate may have made you sick, report it to the new "I Got Sick" website launched by The Utah Department of Health.
The online system, which can be found at igotsick.health.utah.gov, allows the general public to report illnesses that may be related to food they consumed at home, in a restaurant, or at a group gathering.
The system was developed to make it faster and easier for the general public to securely notify Utah public health professionals of potential foodborne illnesses and relevant exposures, said Allyn Nakashima, M.D., State Epidemiologist.
"Rapid detection of foodborne illnesses and identifying common sources are essential to timely investigation and reducing foodborne outbreaks," Nakashima said in a news release issued Friday morning.
All information submitted by users is confidential and will automatically be sent to the appropriate local health department to determine whether food caused the reported illness and where the food may have originated. The sooner public health can receive the information and the more people they hear from, the more likely it is public health is to detect an outbreak, launch an investigation and stop it from spreading.
At igotsick.health.utah.gov, users can watch a brief video showing how the system works and complete a form indicating where food was consumed, what was eaten, and other potential high-risk exposures during the time period just before becoming ill. The website can be used whether a person lives in Utah, visited Utah, or traveled through Utah before getting sick. Health care providers who see patients with complaints of diarrhea and vomiting are encouraged to refer them to this website.