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USA Today News reported that a Salmonella outbreak occurred in roughly one-half of the continental United Sates. The article highlighted the fact that this bacterial illness affected hundreds of people and that the outbreak could not be traced back to a specific place or source of food. The article reported two-hundred and twelve cases with thirty-one people hospitalized (Shannon, 2020). The center for disease control did warn residents of all of the affected states to contact their health-care providers if symptoms occurred. The most common symptoms of Salmonella infection are diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps, and fever. Infected individuals may develop an asymptomatic infection, gastroenteritis, or typhoid fever which can require antibiotics.
Salmonella is a naturally occurring type of bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of animals including birds. This bacterial infection is usually transferred to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces.
The Scientific World Journal states that Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis is most commonly transmitted into the human food supply through eggs of hens that appear to be healthy. Enteritidis is one of more than twenty-five hundred serovars of enterica. Salmonella is a group of Gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria. Typically, humans are exposed to this pathogen orally when consuming contaminated food or water (Andino & Hanning, 2015). In the United States, more than seventy percent of human Salmonella has been linked to the consumption of chicken, turkey, or eggs. Pathogenic Salmonella ingested in food can survive passage through the gastric barrier and invade the large and small intestines inducing an inflammatory response. The bacteria can disseminate from the intestines to cause systemic disease. Salmonella outbreaks can be controlled by hygienic slaughtering practices, thoroughly cooking food, and proper refrigeration temperatures.
USA Today concludes with a warning that people with impaired immune systems, along with young children and the elderly, are at the highest risk for severe illness from Salmonella (Shannon, 2020). This research has really made me consider giving up eating eggs and poultry!
Andino, A., & Hanning, I. (2015, January 13). Salmonella enterica: survival, colonization, and virulence differences among serovars. TheScientificWorldJournal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4310208/.
Shannon, J. (2020, July 24). CDC: ‘Rapidly growing’ Salmonella outbreak has hit nearly 2 dozen states, source unknown.