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Some Food-Borne Illnesses Down, Some Up

Preliminary CDC Data Show Some Food-Borne Illnesses Declining, Others Unchanged or Rising
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

April 12, 2007 -- The CDC says some food-borne illnesses are declining in the U.S., while others are holding steady or increasing.

The CDC today released its preliminary 2006 food-borne illness data from 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee.

A total of 17,252 confirmed cases of food-borne illness were reported in those states in 2006, according to the CDC. The most commonly reported illnesses were:

  • Salmonella: 6,655 cases
  • Campylobacter: 5,712 cases
  • Shigella: 2,736 cases
  • Cryptosporidium: 859 cases
  • E. coli 0157: 590 cases
  • E. coli non-0157: 209 cases
  • Yersinia: 158 cases
  • Vibrio: 154 cases
  • Listeria: 138 cases
  • Cyclospora: 41 cases

Trends in Food-borne Illnesses

The CDC also compared the preliminary 2006 data with data from 1996 to 1998 from the same 10 states.

In 2006, four food-borne illnesses -- yersinia, shigella, listeria, and campylobacter -- were less common than they had been from 1996 to 1998. In 2006, reported yersinia infections were 50% rarer, shigella infections were 35% rarer, listeria infections were 34% rarer, and campylobacter infections were 30% rarer than in 1996-1998.

However, vibrio infections, which are usually associated with shellfish, rose 78%.

"We will be doing some additional epidemiology to better understand the sources of vibrio infection and what we need to do to reduce the risk associated with that," CDC Director Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, said in a news conference.

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