Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 68 People

January 19, 2012  A multistate salmonella outbreak linked to a Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain has sickened 68 people in 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

Almost one third of those sickened with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis required hospitalization. The number of confirmed cases in each state is as follows:  Texas (43), Oklahoma (16), Kansas (2), Iowa (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (1), Ohio (1), and Tennessee (1).

 

According to information available, 60% reported eating at the fast food chain in the week before the onset of illness. Illnesses began on or after October 13, 2011.  Ages of patients ranged from under a year old to 79 years of age, median age was 25 years old.  54% of the patients were female.  No deaths were reported.

 

A thorough investigation done federally, statewide, and locally was unable to identify a specific food associated with the illness, but data indicates that contamination likely occurred before the product reached the restaurants.

 

Among the ill who reported eating at the restaurants, 90% reported eating lettuce, 94% reported eating ground beef, 77% reporting eating cheese, and 35% reported eating tomatoes. This outbreak’s epidemic curve is consistent with produce-related outbreaks, according to the CDC. The restaurant’s meat handling and meat cooking practices make it unlikely that ground beef was the source.

 

Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause very serious illness if ingested. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, which usually develop 12 to 72 hours after infection. In some cases, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized for intravenous fluid intake or the infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the patient is treated promptly with antibiotics.  Those most at risk are young children, the elderly and those with impaired immune systems.

 

Take it from someone who contracted salmonella within the past four months, it is not a fun bacteria to catch. Luckily, with a quick, yet effective dose of antibiotics, plus the potential of a hospital visit if dehydrated enough, you should be back to normal within a few days. Stop by our website or contact one of our attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878) for more information. Feel free to stop by our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

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