Echoing the praise in my blog post yesterday, a Minnesota Star Tribune editorial is praising Minnesota health officials and calling for more foodborne illness surveilance. The editorial relates the story of one of the nine tragic and pointless deaths confirmed as resulting from the PCA Salmonella outbreak.
As with many of the deaths and illnesses in the outbreak, the 72 year old woman described in the story was sickened well after many of the early cases in the outbreak had been reported. A better funded, better prepared, and better integrated national foodborne illness surveilance program would have prevented many of these deaths and illnesses. It would also havesaved the industry hundreds of millions of dollars. The editorial correctly concludes that " Lives will be saved if scientists across the nation can replicate Minnesota scientists’ stellar ability to rapidly spot patterns in data, the key to detecting outbreaks and their sources. "