Salmonella Outbreak Tied To Labs

Following one death and 10 hospitalizations, a <"">Salmonella poisoning outbreak appears to have originated at a laboratory and has been linked to 73 more illnesses in 35 states. The outbreak goes back to August and is expected to be linked to more illnesses.

MSNBC reports that the outbreak has been traced to a strain of commercially sold Salmonella Typhimurium that is used at “clinical and teaching microbiology” labs nationwide, according to government health officials. Some of the illnesses have already been traced back to this Salmonella Typhimurium strain, said U.S. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said MSNBC.

Those who have fallen ill have been students and staff at the laboratories as well as children living in the homes of students and workers at these labs, wrote MSNBC. CDC officials have warned that the Salmonella bacteria used in the laboratories could be passed via “contaminated lab coats, pens, notebooks, car keys, and other items brought into the labs,” explained MSNBC.

The sickness outbreak most probably began as far back as last August 20; the most recent illness having been reported on March 8, according to the CDC. Illnesses occurring after March 19 are probably not included in the announced totals due to the time between “assessing and reporting” the sicknesses, said MSNBC.

Those sickened have been as young as under one year of age to as old as 92; the median age has been 24 years, said MSNBC.

Labs potentially involved range in location from Alaska to New York; each reported about one or two cases; five cases were reported in Washington State and four cases were reported in Minnesota, wrote MSNBC.

Meanwhile, the CDC is collaborating with local and state health departments, the American Society for Microbiology, and the Association of Public Health Laboratories, said MSNBC.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people infected with Salmonella bacteria usually experience symptoms beginning 12 to 72 hours after becoming contaminated by the pathogen which, in these cases involves contact with materials that have been contaminated with the bacteria; food and water, which are traditional Salmonella routes, have not been involved.

Contamination with the Salmonella pathogen can lead to dangerous, sometimes deadly consequences as a result of the Salmonella infection, known as salmonellosis.

Salmonellosis symptoms include fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea and usually last 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without antibiotic treatment; however, the diarrhea can be very severe, and hospitalization may be required.

The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems may experience a more serious illness and symptoms. In these patients, the infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites, and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

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