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Published On: Thu, Jul 20th, 2017

Salmonella: Laboratory-acquired outbreak identified by CDC

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigated a multistate Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak that sickened dozens, which was linked to clinical and college and university teaching microbiology laboratories.

On Thursday, federal health authorities identified another multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to various clinical, commercial, and teaching microbiology laboratories.

Twenty-four people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 16 states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington. Of this total, six people required hospitalization for their illness.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) showed that the strain of Salmonella Typhimurium causing illness in this outbreak is closely related genetically to a strain from an outbreak in 2014 and an outbreak in 2011, both of which were linked to microbiology laboratories.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about different exposures in the week before they became ill. Nine (69%) of 13 ill people had laboratory exposures. Ill people in this outbreak reported behaviors while working in the laboratory that could increase the risk of Salmonella infection. These included not wearing gloves or lab coats, not washing hands, and using the same writing utensils and notebooks outside of the laboratory.

This outbreak highlights the potential risk of Salmonella infection associated with working in microbiology laboratories.

In 2011, a total of 109 illnesses with one of these same strains of Salmonella Typhimurium were linked to exposure to clinical and teaching microbiology laboratories.

Advice to Students and Employees in Microbiology Laboratories

Salmonella is a bacteria that gets into the intestines and causes illness. Most persons infected develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4-7 days, and most people recover without treatment. Infants, elderly persons, and those with impaired immune systems are at a higher risk of developing severe illness.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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