More than 270 infected in mysterious salmonella outbreak detected in 29 states


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)

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 — including 26 people who were hospitalized, according to the latest CDC case count released on Friday.

Last week, the CDC had only confirmed 127 infections linked to the unidentified food source, including 18 hospitalizations, in 25 states. Since then, the outbreak has expanded to a total of 29 states.

An outbreak of the strain Salmonella Oranienburg began Aug. 3 and grew “rapidly” in the following weeks, according to the CDC. No deaths have been linked to the outbreak.

Officials believe the number of sick people is likely much higher since some people recover from illness without medical care and aren’t tested for salmonella.

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

Still, investigators aren’t sure what’s causing the outbreak.

“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, according to the CDC.

In a recent statement, the agency recently reported that it was continuing to see “a significant number of new cases reported each day.”

The statement, issued by CDC spokesperson Belsie González, 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.

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