Salmonella Outbreak in the United States

A recent salmonella outbreak that has affected over 50 people in the United States has federal health officials searching for the source of the disease. According to the statement issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a vast majority of those who became ill from salmonella had recently eaten sushi that contained raw tuna in its ingredients. Although raw tuna is the suspected cause of the salmonella outbreak, a common brand or supplier has yet to be identified in the CDC’s investigation.

Reported Salmonella Cases

Most of the reported salmonella cases involve people who live in or traveled to the southwestern part of the United States prior to falling ill. According to the CDC, salmonella has affected the following states since the first reported case on March 5, 2015:

  • California
  • Arizona
  • Illinois
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • South Dakota
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

Although no one has died from this salmonella outbreak, the infection is severe enough that at least ten people have been hospitalized, including one toddler.

The Investigation

State and local health departments have continued to interview those affected by salmonella and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has increased its monitoring of tuna in an attempt to trace the outbreak to its source. The FDA is also looking at records to find the origin of the tuna.

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella is a bacteria that causes the salmonellosis infection in both animals and humans. There are many types of salmonella but Salmonella typhimurium and Salmonella enteritidis are the two most commonly found in the United States.

Where Can Salmonella Bacteria Come From?

  • Raw poultry
  • Raw eggs
  • Raw beef
  • Raw fish
  • Unwashed fruit

If surfaces came into contact with food products that contain salmonella bacteria, other foods prepared on that surface can become contaminated with the bacteria.

What are Symptoms of Salmonella?

Symptoms of salmonella include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

These symptoms occur from anytime between twelve hours and three days of becoming infected with salmonella and last for four to seven days.

Children, the elderly, and people with immune system conditions are at an increased risk of severe salmonella. The CDC advises that people in these categories avoid raw fish or shellfish as they are naturally prone to contracting food-borne illnesses.

How is Salmonella Treated?

Salmonella infections usually do not require treatment other than staying hydrated but if symptoms are severe, intravenous fluids may be needed. If the disease spreads into the bloodstream, antibiotics may be prescribed. However, some strains of salmonella have become resistant to antibiotics.

What to Do if You Have Been Infected With Salmonella

As the symptoms of salmonella occur rapidly and often resolve within seven days, it is vital that you immediately seek legal assistance if you have suffered from salmonella. Contact Newland & Newland LLP to discuss your legal options today. You may also contact us via email to schedule a free consultation.

We also make home and hospital visits upon request.

  • Newland & Newland LLP, Attorneys, Arlington Heights, IL
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