CDC: Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Ground Turkey

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U.S. heath authorities have stated that contaminated ground turkey has been linked to a multiple-state outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella, resulting in 77 cases of people sickened and one known death, report news sources.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between March 1 and August 1, 26 sates reported cases of the illness with the most cases being reported in California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The source of the contamination remains unknown, but preliminary data indicates that a sole production facility may be involved in the outbreak.

The antibiotic resistance of the Salmonella Heidelberg strain behind the outbreak can increase the risk of hospitalization or treatment failure in people infected with the bacteria, said the CDC. Diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps are the most common symptoms that people infected with Salmonella develop. Symptoms usually develop 12 to 72 hours after exposure, and illness generally lasts four to seven days. Most people return to health without treatment.

In more extreme cases, infected individuals can develop severe diarrhea, requiring hospitalization. Infection can spread from the intestinal tract to the bloodstream and on to other areas of the body, causing death if not treated promptly with antibiotics. Those most at risk of severe illness from Salmonella infection are older adults, infants, and people with weakened immune systems.

Consumer group the Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg an “adulterant.” The classification would spur new testing for the strain, reducing the chance that tainted products would make it to consumers, said the CSPI.

One in six people is sickened annually from consuming contaminated food, according to CDC estimates. Each year, food-borne illness accounts for about 3,000 deaths.

As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I hope that no one else becomes sickened in connection with this outbreak.