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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

So, why no Salmonella Typhimurium cases in Alaska, Montana, Delaware, Louisiana, New Mexico or South Carolina?

Last week, I was hired by the one case in Florida, so Florida is now on the map. So, why no cases in Alaska, Montana, Delaware, Louisiana, New Mexico or South Carolina?  They eat no peanut butter?  Someone should call the states’ health departments.

The CDC numbers as of last Wednesday are 636 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 44 states. Patients range in age from <1 to 98 years. The median age of patients is 16 years, which means that half of ill persons are younger than 16 years. 21% are age <5 years, 17% are >59 years. 48% of patients are female. Among persons with available information, 23% reported being hospitalized. Infection may have contributed to nine deaths: Idaho (1), Minnesota (3), North Carolina (1), Ohio (2), and Virginia (2).

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (2), Arizona (13), Arkansas (6), California (76), Colorado (15), Connecticut (10), Florida (1), Georgia (6), Hawaii (4), Idaho (16), Illinois (9), Indiana (9), Iowa (3), Kansas (2), Kentucky (3), Maine (4), Maryland (8), Massachusetts (48), Michigan (35), Minnesota (39), Missouri (14), Mississippi (7), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (13), New Jersey (23), New York (28), Nevada (6), North Carolina (6), North Dakota (17), Ohio (92), Oklahoma (4), Oregon (12), Pennsylvania (19), Rhode Island (4), South Dakota (4), Tennessee (13), Texas (7), Utah (6), Vermont (4), Virginia (21), Washington (18), West Virginia (2), Wisconsin (4), and Wyoming (2). Additionally, one ill person was reported from Canada.

  • Perhaps it’s just “luck of the draw”?
    Montana announced last month that it had enhanced its Salmonella surveillance (http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/newsevents/newsreleases2009/january/nosalmonellinmt.shtml)
    New Mexico seems to be keeping its eye on the ball, too (http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/fod/Food_Program/nm_alerts.html)
    I don’t recall there ever having been a food-borne outbreak that affected all 50 states.

  • Bix

    I don’t know. If you multiply 636 culture-confirmed cases by 38.6 (Clinical Infectious Diseases, April 2004) you get 24,550 estimated cases.
    I can’t see how, if over 24,000 people were infected, it didn’t touch each state. It does sound like a matter of surveillance, doesn’t it.

  • (…just checking for my family in S C…)
    According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina has six cases reported – one each in Lexington, Williamsburg, Charleston, Greenville, Dorchester and Richland counties.