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Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis Infections

The United States Food & Drug Administration together with the Center discovered an infection outbreak in October 2011 for disease control, prevention, and other public health officials. This infection affected a chain of restaurants referred to as Restaurant Chain A, a fast food outlet in the US. People who ate food from this Mexican food joint were infected with the Salmonella Enteritidis infections, though it proved difficult to identify the ingredient that was causing it. However, investigations suspected the contamination to have occurred to the food products before they reached the restaurant. The officials used DNA fingerprints of the bacteria that caused the illness to understand the number of cases that were part of the outbreak. They obtained data from laboratories associated with Pulse Net that deals with food-borne illnesses.

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The investigation covered different states since the restaurant had outlets in the country, and the results showed 69 cases of infection in ten states by January 2012. Investigations showed that a massively contaminated food product harbored the bacteria causing these infections.

Texas City recorded the highest number of cases since they were 43 in total while Oklahoma came second with 16 cases. The other states had a single or two cases each, for example, Michigan, Kansas, Tennessee, Ohio, New Mexico, Missouri, and Iowa. Statistics showed that women were more infected as compared to the males since there was a 54 % infection for women. The people affected seemed to range between 1 year and 79 years, and the highest percentage was those people aged 25 years. Some people infected had to be hospitalized while others would be treated and discharged. Fortunately, none of the states reported any death linked to Salmonella infections.

The people infected showed various symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pains twelve to seventy-two hours after contamination. Some people did not go for treatment, and the symptoms disappeared after approximately one week. In other cases, some people would go to the hospital due to the severity of diarrhea, and the doctors would recommend hospitalization. Persons likely to be severely affected by the disease are young babies, old people, and those who have low immunity. The infection can be fatal if the infection goes to the bloodstream such that it moves to other body organs. Such a case would require immediate medical attention to treat the sick person with antibiotics (CDC pr. 6).

Investigations had to be done through interviews where the persons would be asked questions about the possibility of exposure during the days preceding the illness. Investigations did not find any other restaurant that reported the Salmonella infections. Most sick persons admitted to eating from restaurant Chain A one week before the onset of symptoms. Center for Disease Control and prevention did an epidemiologic test that analyzed food eaten by a portion of the sick persons and a portion of well persons. The results showed that the people who ate from Restaurant Chain A got infected which was not the case with those who ate from other outlets. It was difficult to establish which ingredient in the food caused the illness since most of the foods on the menu had many common ingredients used together in the preparation of the food. The foods suspected were lettuce, ground beef, cheese, and tomatoes due to the high number of people who reported eating them at the restaurant one week before the onset of the illness. However, they ruled out ground beef as a likely cause due to the processes used in preparing and cooking it by that restaurant. The collaborative investigation identified data on supply channels and schedules to find out the potential foods that would have caused the illnesses. The restaurant was extremely cooperative during investigations, and so far, the Salmonella infection outbreak seems to be over.

Works Cited

CDC. Investigation Announcement: Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Linked to Restaurant Chain A. Web.

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