Salmonella Newport Outbreak Investigation Still Underway
The Salmonella Newport Outbreak has now spread to 43 states in the United States, excluding only Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Hawaii (for now – as additional reporting continues).
There are 640 reported cases and 85 hospitalization due to Salmonella Newport infection, though fortunately there have been no deaths caused thus far. According to recent studies, Salmonella Newport ranks as the third most common Salmonella enterica serotype in the yearly 1.2 million salmonellosis cases in the United States.
Salmonella can spread from person to person or from animal to person. The best way to prevent the spread of Salmonella is by washing your hands, after handling animals and after using the restroom, as the bacteria is known to spread through feces.
In this current outbreak, Epidemiological and traceback information point to red onions from Thomson International, Inc. as a likely source. In outbreaks such as this, health officials typically discover that the adulterated produce, responsible for the outbreak, were first contaminated by nearby livestock, improper water disposal, or poor employee hygiene. According to Salmonella lawsuit lawyer Ron Simon:
“the fact that feces has been introduced into the food chain is unacceptable. This is why we have well-established ‘good manufacturing practices’ for food growers and distributors in the U.S.”
Once the issue is isolated, local and government officials will work together to implement a plan to resolve and prevent such an outbreak from occurring again. In the case that nearby livestock or improper waste disposal is the issue, health officials will reconsider and establish new distance and proper waste disposal regulations, surrounding the produce farm.
According to official records and recent studies, the majority of people who become ill with salmonellosis can recover within 4 to 7 days, without treatment. Even for those who can recover without treatment, salmonellosis is often a nasty illness which will keep you home from work and school, and near the bathroom. Additionally, children under the age of 5, as well as other people with weakened immune systems, have been found to particularly struggle with this illness, sometimes requiring antibiotic treatment.
The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. While these symptoms persist, Salmonella is easily transmissible, especially through one’s diarrhea. Therefore, if salmonellosis is suspected, it is extremely important to use excellent hygiene after using the restroom.