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CDC continues investigating Salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey products as illnesses increase

Sixty-three more people have been infected with salmonella linked to raw turkey products in an outbreak that began in November 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

As of February 13, 2019, 279 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported from 41 states and the District of Columbia. One death has been reported from California and 107 people have been hospitalized.

There have been 11 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella in New Jersey.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick.

In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. Four ill people lived in households where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets.

The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.

Several turkey products have been recalled because they might have been contaminated with Salmonella. You can see a list of recalled items here.

A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified that could account for the whole outbreak.

The Public Health Agency of CanadaExternal has identified ill people in Canada infected with SalmonellaReading bacteria with the same DNA fingerprint.

The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and requested that they take steps to reduce Salmonella contamination.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection include:

  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
  • In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonellainfection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
  • In rare cases, Salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
  • Children younger than 5 years of age, adults older than 65 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.
  • For more information, see the CDC Salmonella website.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook

(Photo: Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service)