CDC Reports Outbreak Of Drug-Resistant Salmonella In 29 States

ATLANTA, GA — At least 92 people in 29 states have been infected with a strain of salmonella that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is resistant to the usual antibiotics used to treat the bacteria.

The victims contracted salmonella after coming into contact with raw chicken products. Twenty-one people have been hospitalized but no deaths have been reported, according to the CDC.

Nevertheless, the CDC is referring to these cases of salmonella as an “outbreak.”

The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is attempting to identify the source or supplier of the chicken containing salmonella. So far, this drug-resistant strain has been found in whole chickens, chicken parts, ground chicken and in pet food purchased at grocery stores. The bacteria has also been found in live chickens. Those who have become sick reported eating various brands of packaged chicken products.

Cases have been reported in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts (nine cases), Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey (nine cases), New York (10 cases), Ohio, Pennsylvania (11 cases), Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

The CDC is urging consumers to handle raw chicken carefully and cook it to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill harmful bacteria. In addition, consumers should avoid washing chicken before cooking it because germs can be spread to other surfaces. Always wash hands thoroughly after handling raw chicken and scrub cutting boards and other surfaces where the chicken is prepared to kill any lingering bacteria.

People who have gotten ill with this strain have experienced stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea and fever anywhere from 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. Some patients, though, have required hospitalization after experiencing severe diarrhea, officials said.

According to the CDC, the first cases of this antibiotic-resistant salmonella appeared in January and cases have continued to be reported through September.

The CDC estimates that salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths in the United States every year. Food is the source for about one million of these illnesses.

For more, go to the CDC website.

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Image via CDC

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