According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a widespread outbreak of Salmonella bacteria has sickened people in at least 25 states. So far, the exact source of the foodborne illness has remained unknown, and officials are urging people who suspect they have the stomach flu to contact their local health departments. According to the CDC, 127 cases of the outbreak had been reported as of September 17.
There have been 18 hospitalizations and no deaths as a result of this. Cases have been discovered from coast to coast, with Texas having the most, with 45 so far.Salmonella are fuzzy-looking, rod-shaped bacteria that live in the guts of many animals, including humans, and are completely harmless. However, some types can cause illness if they enter our bodies from somewhere else.
This usually occurs when we consume food or water contaminated with infected poop from an animal or another person, but it can also be contracted by handling live animals such as chickens and turtles. Most salmonella infections are mild and resolve on their own, with symptoms such as diarrhoea, fever, and stomach cramps lasting a few days to a week. Because the illness isn’t severe enough to warrant a trip to the doctor for testing, many people are unaware they have salmonella.
However, in rare cases, the infection can lead to more serious, even life-threatening disease. People with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly, the very young, and those with immune conditions, are more vulnerable to this risk. Salmonella causes approximately 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths each year, according to the CDC. Salmonella Oranienburg is the causative agent in this outbreak. And the first cases were reported in early August. Beyond that, CDC officials are baffled as to what food product is causing the “rapidly spreading” outbreak.
Outbreaks of this particular germ have previously been linked to eggs, pet turtles, and even chocolate, so the list of potential suspects is quite long. For the time being, the CDC advises anyone experiencing salmonella-like symptoms to see a doctor and report their illness to their local health department. Because symptoms usually appear within six hours to six days of exposure, that report should include helpful details such as foods eaten in the previous week.
If you have severe symptoms such as bloody diarrhoea, a fever of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, or heavy vomiting, you should seek medical attention right away.
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