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Published On: Sun, Sep 6th, 2015

Salmonella outbreak: Arizona accounts for one out of five cases

The Salmonella Poona outbreak reported earlier this week has sickened nearly 300 people in 27 states and no state has been hit as hard as Arizona, according to data from state health officials.

Salmonella Image/CDC

Salmonella
Image/CDC

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), along with federal and local health officials, are investigating 66 cases of Salmonella Poona infections that appear to be linked to eating garden variety cucumbers grown outside of the United States. The CDC has the number of Arizona cases at 60.

Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego, CA initiated a voluntary recall of all cucumbers sold under the Limited Edition label during the period from August 1, 2015 through September 3, 2015 because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

Cara M. Christ, M.D., ADHS Director said 75 percent of cases reported in the state are in children 17 and younger. Around 35% of the Arizona cases have been hospitalized for this disease and no deaths have been reported in Arizona.

“State and local health departments have been working around the clock with federal partners to rapidly identify the source of this outbreak so we can inform the public,” Dr. Christ noted. “Today, the state lab made a preliminary identification of the source and it is urgent to get the message out to prevent any more exposure to children and adults.”

Maricopa County has accounted for 75 percent of cases in the state (49), while the remaining cases were reported from the following counties: Apache (1), Coconino (2), Pima (10), Pinal (2), and Yuma (2).

Illness for Salmonella infection lasts about 4-7 days. “For the vast majority of people, Salmonella is uncomfortable but not serious and goes away without treatment,” said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for the Disease Control Division at Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

“Individuals with symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea and abdominal cramping, should seek medical attention if they develop bloody diarrhea or cannot drink enough fluids to keep hydrated,” she added. Healthcare providers are advised to get stool cultures from patients who they think may have Salmonella. Antibiotics are rarely necessary to treat Salmonella and in most cases patients will recover without any specific treatment. The elderly, very young and those who have weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness associated with Salmonella.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

Follow @bactiman63

Related: Arizona: Maricopa County investigates outbreaks of West Nile virus and St. Louis Encephalitis, simultaneously

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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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