Unknown Source Causes Salmonella Outbreak in Fifteen States
In 15 states, at least 125 people have reported Salmonella infections due to an unknown source.
The illnesses began on June 19, 2020, and reportedly ended on July 7, 2020, requiring 24 hospitalizations. As of now, Oregon has the highest number of cases with 42 reported illnesses, followed by Utah (28), Michigan (12), Montana (11), Wyoming (9), Ohio (5), California (3), Iowa (3), Minnesota (3), North Carolina (3), Missouri (2), Illinois (1), Tennessee (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (1).
The CDC is currently investigating the outbreak, having found no restaurants, grocery stores, or food items to avoid. They are currently conducting a traceback investigation by interviewing ill people and using food safety technology. The food safety system being used is called Pulsenet, a traceback network utilizing whole genome sequencing (WGS) to test whether different food poisoning cases are related and discover the source of an outbreak. During WGS, DNA fingerprinting is employed to identify genetically related bacteria. On average, it takes 2 to 4 weeks for the Salmonella infection to be reported, analyzed with WGS, and submitted to Pulsenet.
According to the CDC, symptoms of a Salmonella infection typically begin 1 to 3 days after ingesting the bacteria, though some report symptoms as early as 6 hours and as late as 6 days after ingestion. Symptoms of Salmonella include typical food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and cramping, though some have also reported nausea, vomiting, and a headache. The majority of people recover from the infection without treatment, though those with a severe infection may need a treatment of antibiotics. Some patients may need to be hospitalized due to dehydration from excessive diarrhea or due to the severity of their gastroenteritis. People with weakened immune system, the elderly, pregnant women, and children, are more at risk for a severe infection. If you believe you are suffering from Salmonella poisoning, contact your doctor for the best course of treatment.
According to salmonella lawyer Ron Simon, “it is likely that the source will be found in the ensuing weeks, with the work of state agencies and the CDC. If they do, we cn assess whether a salmonella lawsuit is the right approach to begin to uncover what happened.”