Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that there have been a total of 107 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg reported from 31 states between February 27 and August 9, 2011. That number has risen from the 78 infected individuals reported by CDC in an update issued last week on August 4, 2011. These infections have been linked to the consumption of ground turkey products manufactured by Cargill.
The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), Arizona (3), California (6), Colorado (2), Georgia (2), Illinois (13), Indiana (1), Iowa (2), Kansas (1), Kentucky (2), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (1), Michigan (12), Minnesota (2), Mississippi (1), Missouri (4), Nebraska (2), Nevada (1), New York (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (10), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (5), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (2), Texas (14), Utah (1), and Wisconsin (4). According to the report, Illinois, Michigan and Texas have been the states hardest hit by the outbreak.
Among persons for whom information is available, illnesses began on or after February 27, 2011. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 89 years old, with a median age of 21 years old. Fifty-five percent are male. Among the 64 ill persons with available information, 25 (39%) have been hospitalized. One death has been reported.
Perhaps what is most frightening about this outbreak is that the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics including ampicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline, and in some instances, gentamicin.
On August 3, 2011, Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, a Springdale, Arkansas, establishment, issued a recall of approximately 36 million pounds of ground turkey products that may be contaminated with a multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg. The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-963” inside the USDA mark of inspection.