By Jack Phillips
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a salmonella outbreak in about 25 states that hasn’t yet been linked to any food source or product.
So far, 127 people have become sickened and 18 hospitalized in the outbreak of the Salmonella oranienburg strain. The agency, however, warned that the actual number could be far higher.
“Many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella,” the CDC said in the notice on its website on Sept 17. No deaths have been reported.
Most of the cases have been reported in Texas and Minnesota, according to a map provided by the agency. The first outbreak started in early August and the last reported illness was on Sept. 1, according to a news release.
“The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses,” the agency said in a news release.
It added: “Sick people range in age from less than 1 year to 82 years, with a median age of 33, and 59 percent are female.”
The Food and Drug Administration confirmed to news outlets that it also analyzing records collected from restaurant locations where sick people may have dined.
Authorities said they’re are not sure what’s causing the outbreak.
“State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick,” the agency said in its news release. “CDC is analyzing the data and has not identified a specific food item as a potential source of this outbreak.”
Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, stomach cramps, and dehydration. Those symptoms can start between six hours and a week after being exposed to the bacteria, according to the health agency. Most recover after four to seven days without treatment.
The CDC recommends people practice food safety measures including cleaning utensils, hands, and foods, as well as separating different foods. People should also make sure all food is cooked at a high enough temperature.
About 862,000 pounds of uncured antipasto products were recalled in August for possible salmonella contamination that sickened people across 17 different states, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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