Mysterious salmonella outbreak spreads to New Jersey and the United States

A mysterious salmonella outbreak continues to aggressively grow in the United States and has now sickened at least four people in New Jersey.

There have been nearly 250 confirmed cases, but federal health officials say the number is likely much higher.

United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking anyone who is showing symptoms or has been infected to keep any take-out containers they may have used and to contact them so they can hopefully identify the source.

The strain of Salmonella Oranienburg has now been detected in 29 states, from California to New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Federal health investigators have yet to identify the source of the infection.

In at least one case, a take-out container with cilantro and lime tested positive. The customer said there were also onions in the container, but they had been eaten or thrown away and were not available for testing.

In an update to their website, the CDC said, “Since multiple foods were present in the container and in the sample that was tested, it is not possible to know which food was contaminated. We use this information in conjunction with other available information to help narrow the list of possible foods related to the disease. “

Past outbreaks of salmonella or other foodborne infections have often been traced to a single ingredient or food that was shipped from one location to multiple destinations such as supermarkets and restaurants. Although the diagram suggests that could be the case with this salmonella outbreak, no source has been identified.

Nationally, 26 people have been hospitalized but none in New Jersey, according to CDC data. Salmonella is generally not fatal. Most people recover without severe symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Salmonella infection is usually not fatal. However, in some people – especially infants and young children, the elderly, transplant recipients, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems – the development of complications can be dangerous. – Mayo Clinic

Salmonella Oranienburg infections have been linked in the past to everything from eggshells to cheese and black pepper.

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