In early September this year, the Centers for Disease Control identified 20 salmonella Oranienburg infections. But these weren’t isolated cases. In fact, it was wider spread than initially thought.
By the middle of September, another 127 cases had been reported, spanning 25 states. While no deaths had been reported, the age groups affected ranged from one year to 91.
By the end of the month, it only got worse. Now, the CDC says the infection has spread to 35 states, caused 419 illnesses and 66 people had to be taken to the hospital. Keep reading for an online tool to track its spread and avoid getting sick.
Here’s the backstory
Data of the current outbreak is from June 19 to September 29, 2021. While only 419 people reported the illness, the CDC estimates the actual figure could be much higher. The average age of infection is 37, with 56% being female. The most worrying thing about the current outbreak is that officials can’t find its source.
According to the CDC, salmonella causes about 1.35 million illnesses, 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths in the U.S. every year. Symptoms can include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. The illness usually begins six hours to six days after infection and could last four to seven days.
It is important to note; you should seek medical advice from your doctor if you are feeling unwell.
How to stay safe from salmonella infection
The CDC has set up a webpage where you can track the spread of the current outbreak. Hover your cursor over the state you live in to find out the numbers. You might notice that 111 people from Texas have fallen ill. This is followed by Oklahoma with 63 illnesses and Virginia with 38.
The CDC provides food safety tips to prevent salmonella infection:
- Wash your hands, utensils and surfaces often.
- Rinse vegetables and fruits under running water before preparing or eating them.
- Keep other foods away from raw meat, poultry and seafood.
- Use a food thermometer to determine cooked food reached a temperature high enough to kill germs and bacteria. This varies for the type of meat and you can find details at foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/safe-minimum-cooking-temperature.
- Refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours (1 hour if the food has been in the heat). Thaw food in the fridge.