No Cause Given for Ongoing Salmonella Outbreak

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The salmonella bacterium continues to sicken hundreds of Americans, and the latest strain has caused an outbreak in 42 states during the past three months, with a reported 388 cases.

USA Today reports that officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have become concerned enough about the latest incidences to form a task force to find the cause.

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This can be a daunting task. For example, more than 1,400 people in the United States suffered from salmonella poisoning in 2008 before the source was found -- peppers imported from Mexico. And another 401 cases in 41 states were reported in November, caused by the bacterium in microwaveable pot pies.

Infectious disease specialists don't yet know the source of the current illnesses, if there is indeed a single source.

The CDC says salmonella symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever, and it usually is spread by fecal matter coming in contact with food people eat, whether animal or vegetable.

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