Salmonella Cases In North Dakota Linked To National Outbreak

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Ten cases of Salmonella Typhimurium associated with a national outbreak are being investigated in North Dakota, according to Julie Wagendorf, epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health.

As of Jan. 13, 2009, 10 North Dakota cases with illness dates ranging from Nov. 21, 2008, to Dec. 16, 2008 have been associated with the outbreak. Cases ranged in age from younger than 10 to older than 90. Two cases were hospitalized; all have recovered. Cases were reported in the following counties: Barnes , Burleigh , Cass (4), Morton and Ward .

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As of Jan. 12, 2009, 410 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported in 43 states. Among the 388 people with dates available, illnesses began between Sept. 3 and Dec. 31, 2008, with most illnesses beginning after Oct. 1, 2008. Cases range in age from younger than 1 to 98. Among people with available information, 18 percent were hospitalized, and the infection may have contributed to three deaths. An investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health suggested King Nut creamy peanut butter as a likely source of Salmonella infections among many ill people in Minnesota.

An open container of King Nut brand creamy peanut butter was tested, and the outbreak strains of Salmonella Typhimurium were found. Based on these laboratory findings, products from the King Nut peanut butter distributor and from the peanut butter manufacturer, Peanut Corporation of America, have been recalled. The product is distributed to establishments such as long-term care facilities, hospitals, schools, universities, restaurants, delis, cafeterias and bakeries. It is not sold directly to consumers and is not known to be distributed for retail sale in grocery stores.

In North Dakota, four cases reported consuming the King Nut peanut butter product prior to illness. One case was associated with a long-term care facility and two were associated with a hospital setting. Environmental health practitioners in North Dakota are working with the FDA, food distribution centers and state agencies to notify all institutional settings that received this product.

Salmonella can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea and fever usually lasting four to seven days. People who think they may have become ill from eating peanut butter are advised to consult their health-care providers.

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