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Salmonella Outbreak Hits 42 States And Growing

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, January 07, 2009 10:59 PM EST
Category: On The Road
Tags: Salmonella, CDC, Food Poisoning, Bacterial Contamination, Public Health

Salmonella typhimurium has hit 42 states and hospitalized 67 people. The source is still unknown.


IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/ salmonella invades human cells/ author: Nutloaf

A salmonella outbreak has hospitalized 67 people and sickened almost 400 around the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 42 states have reported cases.

Ohio is one state that so far has reported 50 cases among its resident since October 10th. California reports 51 cases as of last week and Michigan has had 20 cases with seven people hospitalized.

This outbreak is hitting all age ranges from one year to 103 years old.

The source of the salmonella is a mystery. The type is Salmonella typhimurium, the same type of the bacterial outbreak that sickened more than 400 people in 2007. The source is usually animal feces passed on to humans through food.

In that case, the CDC traced the bacteria to undercooked Banquet brand frozen pot pies. Other Salmonella typhimurium cases have been traced back to poultry, raw milk and cheese, and small green pet turtles. This bacterial strain is a common one.

Last year from April through August, the largest outbreak of food poisoning in more than a decade was identified as Salmonella saintpaul that originated in peppers. Originally it was suspected to be carried in tomatoes from Mexico and Florida.

That was just one of about 40,000 outbreaks of salmonella every year. Symptoms include diarrhea, cramps and vomiting that usually clears up within a week. An estimated 500 people die every year from salmonella poisoning.

The CDC reminds us to use precautions:

  • Cook meat and eggs thoroughly
  • Wash hands and utensils used around meat
  • Infants and the elderly are particularly susceptible if they are immunocompromised, be careful with their food preparation
  • Wash your hands after handling animals, reptiles, baby chicks or pet feces #

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