ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials are investigating multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections in humans. They are collecting epidemiologic, traceback, and food and environmental testing data.
As of June 2, there have been 219 people infected with either an Enteritidis, Hadar, Infantis or Typhimurium serotype. These outbreaks trace across 38 states, with first appearances beginning in February.
One death was reported in Tennessee, and 27 have been hospitalized.
CDC estimates numbers of infected people to be greater than the reported cases. The agency said many people recover without medical care and thus are not tested for Salmonella.
After interviewing 87 infected people, investigators have found that approximately 70% of infections are contracted though contact with backyard animals. Sixteen of those interviewed reported eating eggs from backyard poultry, and two reported backyard poultry meat.
CDC is working with hatcheries and stores that sell poultry to educate new poultry owners and control the spread of Salmonella at hatcheries.
Additionally, public health investigators are using the PulseNet system, which manages a national database of bacteria DNA fingerprints, to identify illnesses that may be part of these outbreaks.