E. coli, salmonella infections rise (excerpt)
Other food-borne ills leveling off, but thousands sickened in 2006, CDC says
Updated: 7:34 p.m. PT April 12, 2007
WASHINGTON – E. coli and salmonella infections are on the
rise in the United States, but other food-borne illnesses appear
to have leveled off, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
said on Thursday.
Data from 10 states show that infections caused by campylobacter,
listeria, shigella and ersinia have all fallen since the 1990s — a success
But after falling sharply in 2003 and 2004 when the meat industry pulled
together to make ground beef safer, rates of E. coli 0157:H7 infections
have rebounded, and many appear to be related to outbreaks in fresh
produce, the CDC said.
“As recent outbreaks have shown, too many people in the United States
are getting sick each year from food-borne illnesses,” CDC Director
Dr. Julie Gerberding told reporters in a telephone briefing.
The CDC identified 17,252 laboratory-confirmed cases of food
poisoning in 2006 using its Food Net surveillance tool, which looks
in detail at food-borne illness in 10 states, covering 45 million people,
or 15 percent of the total U.S. population.
These included 6,655 cases of salmonella, 590 cases of E. coli O157,
an additional 290 cases of other disease-causing strains of E. coli, 138
cases of listeria and 41 cases of cyclospora.
All these microbes cause a range of illnesses but are mostly marked by
diarrhea and often nausea. In extreme cases, some can cause hemolytic
uremic syndrome, which can destroy kidney function, and infection can
attack other organs.
The CDC figures do not include details on deaths.
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