CDC: Salmonella outbreak reported across 15 states, source unidentified

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a multi-state, partnered investigation on Tuesday into a rapidly growing outbreak of salmonella infections.

The ongoing investigation has yet to identify a source of the infections. To locate the source, health officials are interviewing ill people about foods recently eaten before the sickness and any other exposures.

The outbreak was identified on July 10 with 13 ill people reported across three states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19 to July 7. Over 10 days, the outbreak swelled to 125 ill people across 15 states.

The CDC said 24 people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. Oregon has the highest number of reported illnesses in this outbreak so far at 42, with Utah following behind at 28.

The CDC is not recommending that consumers avoid any particular food at this time, according to the investigation notice.

An analysis method called whole genome sequencing revealed that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection, the agency said. Health officials identified a certain salmonella “serotype,” or strain, called salmonella newport, which causes significant disease, particularly in cattle and humans.

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Restaurants and retailers were not advised to avoid serving or selling any particular food. The CDC said it will provide more information as it becomes available.

Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps up to six days after exposure. The illness usually resolves within a week, and most people recover without treatment, according to the CDC.

Salmonella illnesses usually resolve within a week, and most people recover without treatment. However, some severe cases require hospitalization. (iStock)

However, severe illness from salmonella can necessitate hospitalization. These infections run the risk of spreading from the intestines to the bloodstream and then elsewhere in the body.

The two extremes of age and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

If you have symptoms of a salmonella infection, the CDC advised talking to a health care provider, write down foods consumed in the week before getting sick, report the illness to the health department and help public health investigators by answering questions about the illness.

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To prevent a salmonella infection, the CDC advises frequent hand washing and washing fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting or peeling.

Make sure to separate foods like fresh fruit, salads and deli meats (or food that won’t be cooked before eaten) away from raw meat, poultry and seafood. Always cook at a temperature high enough to kill germs and refrigerate perishable foods within two hours.

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