WebMD News Brief

Salmonella Outbreak of Unknown Origin Reported in 25 States

salmonella bacteria
From the WebMD Archives

Sept. 21, 2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it has not determined the cause of a salmonella outbreak that has infected 127 people in 25 states.

The outbreak has grown quickly since the first report of Salmonella Oranienburg infection on Aug. 3. The CDC had gathered reports of 20 cases on Sept. 2, but by Sept. 15 the number had grown to 127, the CDC said in a notice published Friday.

No deaths have been reported, but at least 18 people have been hospitalized, the CDC said.

Health authorities haven’t figured out what caused the outbreak.

Salmonella is the is the type of bacteria that’s the most frequently reported cause of food-related illness in the United States. Salmonella infections are very common, and most people get well on their own at home within 4 to 7 days.

“State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick,” the CDC said. “The CDC is analyzing the data and has not identified a specific food item as a potential source of this outbreak.”

However, health authorities have identified groups of people called “subclusters” who don’t know each other but ate at the same restaurant and got sick, the CDC said.

“Investigating these subclusters can sometimes help identify a food item eaten by all of the sick people that could be the source of the outbreak,” the CDC said.

There have probably been even more infections than reported because some people recover from illness without medical care and aren't tested for salmonella, the CDC said.

Texas has reported 45 cases, the most of any state, followed by Minnesota with 13. Other states reporting cases include Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Kansas, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan, North and South Carolina, Nebraska, Utah, and Oklahoma.

The sickened people are 1 to 82 years old with a median age of 33. Fifty-nine percent are female.

Most people recover from salmonella in four to seven days, the CDC said. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, stomach cramps, and dehydration.

WebMD Health News Brief


CDC. “Salmonella Outbreak with Unknown Food Source


WebMD. Salmonella (Salmonellosis)

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.