UPDATE: Nationwide salmonella outbreak runs rampant, no source yet identified


The CDC said it was “not possible” to determine which component of the takeout meal was contaminated, as the container contained multiple food items. (Getty Images)

FRIDAY 10/1/2021 11:09 a.m.

(WFRV) – A nationwide Salmonella Oranienburg outbreak detected in June and stemming from an unidentified food source is continuing to spread from state to state resulting in an increase of illnesses.

On September 25, the outbreak was detected in a total of 29 states with at least 279 infections, of which 26 required hospitalization, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case count.

As of September 30, only five days later, the total number of illnesses nearly doubled with 419 illnesses being reported. Of those 66 needed hospitalization. The outbreak has also spread to 35 states, including Wisconsin.

According to the CDC outbreak map, Wisconsin currently has 10 reported illnesses with our neighboring states of Minnesota and Illinois reporting between 20 to 30 illnesses.

And with no source for the outbreak yet identified, CDC officials are advising residents to taken action and contact their local healthcare provider if they experience the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Dehydration
  • Prolonged vomiting
  • Prolonged diarrhea
  • Diarrhea with a fever of over 102 degrees F

CDC officials say they are actively investigating this outbreak. Local 5 will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.

Original Story: Salmonella outbreak from unidentified source expands to 29 states, including Wisconsin; CDC says strain found in takeout container

SATURDAY 9/25/2021 12:05 p.m.

(NEXSTAR) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded a “significant” number of new infections amid a multi-state outbreak of salmonella stemming from an unknown food source.

At least 279 infections have been linked to the strain observed in the outbreak, 26 of which have required hospitalization, according to the latest CDC case count made public on Friday. Last week, the CDC had only confirmed 127 infections linked to the unidentified food source, including 18 hospitalizations.

The outbreak has also expanded to a total of 29 states, or four more than when the CDC first reported the infections last week.

No deaths have been linked to the outbreak.

Salmonella Oranienburg, the strain observed in this outbreak, began sickening people on Aug. 3 and grew “rapidly” in the following weeks, according to the CDC. The agency estimates that the actual number of sick people is “likely much higher” than 279, as many infected individuals often recover without seeking treatment or getting tested.

It can also take up to four weeks to determine if a sick person is indeed part of the outbreak, the agency says.

Investigators have yet to determine a food source linked to the outbreak, though the strain has since been identified in a takeout container provided to a restaurant customer, per the CDC’s lab data.

“State and local officials have collected food items from some of the restaurants where sick people ate,” the CDC wrote in Friday’s update. “The outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg was found in a sample taken from a takeout condiment cup containing cilantro and lime. The sick person reported that the condiment container also contained onions, but none were left in the cup when it was tested.”

The CDC says, however, that it is “not possible” to determine exactly which ingredient or component was contaminated, as the takeout container contained other foods.

Health officials are currently gathering additional data, per the CDC.

In a statement shared with Nexstar days before the CDC’s latest update, the agency said it was continuing to see “a significant number of new cases reported each day.”

The statement, issued by Belsie González, MPH, the senior public affairs specialist for the CDC, added that “it remains important that people report symptoms to their healthcare provider and local health department.”  

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, and possible nausea, vomiting or headache. Those experiencing more severe symptoms — including dehydration, prolonged vomiting, prolonged diarrhea, or diarrhea with a fever of over 102 degrees F, among other symptoms — should contact a doctor immediately.

A complete list of the number of infections and where they were reported can be found below.

  • Texas: 81
  • Oklahoma: 40
  • Illinois: 23
  • Virginia: 22
  • Minnesota: 19
  • Massachusetts: 10
  • Maryland: 9
  • Wisconsin: 8
  • Arkansas: 7
  • Kansas: 6
  • New Mexico: 6
  • California: 5
  • Connecticut: 5
  • South Dakota: 5
  • Michigan: 4
  • Nebraska: 4
  • New Jersey: 4
  • Pennsylvania: 4
  • Missouri: 3
  • Florida: 2
  • New York: 2
  • North Carolina: 2
  • Utah: 2
  • Indiana: 1
  • Iowa: 1
  • North Dakota: 1
  • Oregon: 1
  • South Carolina: 1
  • Tennessee: 1

More information on this outbreak and salmonella infection can be found at the CDC’s website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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