11 hospitalized, 125 sick from South Carolina fundraiser

At least four more people who ate food sold last week at a fundraiser at a Conway church have been hospitalized as of today, said Jim Beasley, spokesman for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

A total of 11 people have been hospitalized, and DHEC officials believe there are about 125 people who sought physician care for gastro-intestinal illness symptoms in the area, Beasley said.

Conway Medical Center performed tests on three samples from patients and it appears that salmonella is expected, Beasley said.

People started becoming ill with symptoms such as abdominal cramping, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, after buying and eating food sold at the Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Conway to raise money to benefit the family of an ill child, said Dr. Covia L. Stanley, director of DHEC’s Region 6 public health office, which serves Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties, said in a news release Tuesday.

The meals, which included barbecue pork, baked sweet potatoes, cole slaw and rolls, were prepared at a local hunting club, Stanley said.

DHEC officials are asking that anyone who purchased any of the roughly 1,450 plates of food sold at the fundraiser to throw leftovers away and to contact their private healthcare physician if they are experiencing any symptoms.