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Antibiotic-resistant salmonella tainted chickens linked to illness again

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Another outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella bacteria linked to Foster Farms, a California chicken producer is continuing to sicken people more than a year after it began, according to a May 27, 2014 CDC news release, "Multistate Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Heidelberg Infections Linked to Foster Farms Brand Chicken." Looks like the CDC says new antibiotic-resistant salmonella cases are being reported this week, and again, it's chicken linked to a California chicken producer. It's now more than a year since the salmonella outbreak in chicken began. And once more, most ill persons (77%) have been reported from California.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials indicate that consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections. To date, there have been 574 cases in 27 states, 37% hospitalizations, and a recall. You can find information on Key Resources or a Timeline of Events at the CDC website, such as the latest case count map (Click map to view updated and previous case count maps.) Or to see the latest Epi curve, Click graph to view updated and previous epi curve graphs. See the epicurve map here.

This outbreak can be visually described with an epicurve chart showing the number of persons who became ill each day. This chart is called an epi curve. Please see the CDC's Timeline for Reporting of Salmonella Cases for more details on the reporting process. Or see the CDC's current case count map as of May 27, 2014 here.

A total of 574 individuals infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 27 states and Puerto Rico. Most of the ill persons (76%) have been reported from California. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alaska (1), Arkansas (1), Arizona (25), California (441), Colorado (9), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Florida (4), Georgia (1), Hawaii (1), Idaho (5), Illinois (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (5), Montana (1), North Carolina (1), Nevada (11), New Mexico (2), Oregon (14), Puerto Rico (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (13), Utah (6), Virginia (4), Washington (17), and Wisconsin (1).

You also can view the Timeline of Events or see what signs and symptoms to look for and view other recall and advice to consumers and read the advice to consumers at the CDC website links. Basically, as of today, the investigation continues into Salmonella Heidelberg infections likely related to Foster Farms chicken.

As of May 22, 2014, a total of 574 individuals infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 27 states and Puerto Rico since March 1, 2013. Most of the ill persons (77%) have been reported from California. Since the last update on April 9, 2014, a total of 50 new ill persons have been reported from 8 states: Arizona (1), California (42), Georgia (1), Montana (1), Nevada (1), Oregon (1), Texas (1), and Utah (2). Since the last update, an average of 8 new ill persons have been reported each week to CDC.

Among 560 persons for whom information is available, illness onset dates range from March 1, 2013 to May 1, 2014. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 93 years, with a median age of 18 years. Fifty-one percent of ill persons are male. Among 478 persons with available information, 178 (37%) reported being hospitalized. Thirteen percent of ill persons have developed blood infections as a result of their illness. Typically, approximately 5% of persons ill with Salmonella infections develop blood infections. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses that began after April 22, 2014, might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials indicate that consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections.

The outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics

Although these antibiotics are not typically used to treat Salmonella bloodstream infections or other severe Salmonella infections, antibiotic resistance can be associated with increased risk of hospitalization in infected individuals. It's not unusual for raw poultry from any producer to have Salmonella bacteria. CDC and USDA-FSIS recommend consumers follow food safety tips to prevent Salmonella infection from raw poultry produced by Foster Farms or any other brand.

The outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics. Although these antibiotics are not typically used to treat Salmonella bloodstream infections or other severe Salmonella infections, antibiotic resistance can be associated with increased risk of hospitalization in infected individuals.

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