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Dozens in Moapa Valley become sick following potluck dinner

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Dozens in Moapa Valley become sick following potluck dinner

CREATED Oct 24, 2013

Moapa Valley, NV (KTNV) -- A mystery is unfolding in Moapa Valley where dozens of people have become suddenly sick.

Action News has learned that a food-borne illness may be behind what's causing so many people to get sick.

Hospitals in the small community are being seriously strained to handle the number of patients coming in.

Doctors at the Logandale Quick Care Unit treated 85 people on Monday and Tuesday alone, and dozens continue to stream in.

The systems are flu-like, which includes headaches and vomiting.

People in the town said residents became sick after a church potluck dinner was hosted on Saturday night.

While area hospitals are under strain to treat such an influx of patients, they can only take in so many people.

Doctors are not turning away patients, but working with other agencies to get enough resources to help people in need.

For so many, it was frustrating not knowing what was behind the illness. But the Southern Nevada Health District is providing more answers into what's causing the massive outbreak.

An epidemiologist spoke to Action News about the situation and said they believe this is a food-borne gastrointestinal illness, stemming from one of the dishes that was brought to the potluck dinner.

The health district cannot confirm the number of reported cases, but said this was an isolated outbreak and not contagious to the general public.

They will not be testing any of the foods that were eaten that night because they were tossed in the trash after the dinner wrapped up.

Health officials have been in the area tracking down what's going on, but residents in the area don't believe the district is doing enough.

The health district denies that.

"I wouldn't say that we don't have a presence, we've actually worked very closely with the organizers of the event and we've had a lot of communication with them," said Nancy Williams, SNHD.

The exact number of people impacted by this illness could be released sometime this weekend or early next week.