CDC Warns of Ongoing Salmonella Outbreak

A nationwide outbreak of salmonella has infected 241 people in 42 states since the first report in 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These salmonella cases weren’t from eating raw or undercooked food, as you might expect. Rather, these infections have been associated with exposure to African dwarf frogs.

These water frogs may be found in pet and educational stores, fairs and carnivals, etc. The CDC has linked the initial outbreak to a single African dwarf frog breeding facility in Madena County, Calif., Blue Lobster Farms.

Although intervention steps have been taken, the CDC says reports of people contracting the illness continue. No deaths have been reported, but children under 5 years are at high risk, as are pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

The infection is generally classified as gastroenteritis (ICD-9-CM 003.0 Salmonella). Typical signs and symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment; however, severe diarrhea may require an individual to be hospitalized. In rare cases, the bacteria might spread into a person’s blood stream and then to other body sites, requiring the person to be treated with antibiotics.

Prevention best practices include proper hand washing techniques and avoidance of these amphibious creatures.

Source: CDC report, July 20, 2011

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