CDC investigating after salmonella from chicken sickens more than 90 people
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning of a new type of drug-resistant salmonella that has made about 100 people across the United States sick. That includes Pennsylvania, with a total of 11 cases.
The United States typically sees over 1 million cases of salmonella a year that usually can be easily treated with antibiotics but doctors say that's not the case.
"Salmonella is a bacterial infection which is most commonly transmitted by food and water," Geisinger Community Medicine Director Dr. Amit Mehta said.
Salmonella typically can be found in beef, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables and processed foods.
According to officials, the outbreak is coming from a variety of raw chicken products -- including chicken pieces, ground chicken, whole chickens and pet food.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an investigation notice Wednesday, warning of an outbreak in 29 states: California, Washington, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Maine.
"It can be serious at times when it leads to diarrhea, dehydration," Mehta said.
The CDC says the outbreak started in January but more people tested positive for the strain in September.
People sick with this strain have experienced stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea and a fever, 12 to 71 hours after exposure to the bacteria.
"It does, most of the time, resolve spontaneously in about four to seven days. Symptoms can be subtle to quite ramped," Mehta said.
Symptoms can be worse for people with underlying medical conditions, children under 5 and people older than 65, as they typically have weaker immune systems.
But there are ways to protect yourself.
"Always wash your hands,” Mehta said. “If you’re going to buy raw meats, make sure you cook them well, that’s one of the most important things. Make sure that you don’t touch other things that you’re cooking at the same time, that can spread the bacteria if it is there, (and) don’t feed your pets any raw meats."
According to officials, 21 of those sick patients have been hospitalized but no deaths have been reported.