How about a little good news for a change?   The CDC announced today, in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the results of a study indicating a decline in the incidence of a number of high-profile foodborne pathogens:

In comparison with the first 3 years of surveillance (1996–1998), sustained declines in the reported incidence of infections caused by Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, Shigella, and Yersinia were observed.

On the other hand, incidence of Vibrio infection continued to rise.   In addition, vulnerable populations, in particular the young and those of advanced age, continued to suffer disproportionate effects of foodborne illness:  "For most infections, reported incidence was highest among children aged <4 years; the percentage of persons hospitalized and the case fatality rate (CFR) were highest among persons aged ≥50 years."

The CDC also provided incidence rates, per 100,000 population for several pathogens, for 2009, encompassing a total of 17,468 culture confirmed illnesses in the tracked pathogens:

  • Salmonella (7,039; 15.19).
  • Campylobacter (6,033; 13.02).
  • Shigella (1,849; 3.99).
  • Cryptosporidium (1,325; 2.86).
  • STEC O157 (459; 0.99).
  • STEC non-O157 (264; 0.57).
  • Vibrio (160; 0.35).
  • Listeria (158; 0.34).
  • Yersinia (150; 0.32).
  • Cyclospora (31; 0.07)