Sept. 27, 2021 -- A recent salmonella outbreak has doubled during the last week, and CDC officials are still trying to find the exact source.
As of Thursday, 279 people have gotten sick and 26 people have been hospitalized across 29 states, according to the latest CDC data. The week before, 127 people were sick and 18 people were hospitalized in 25 states.
The outbreak has “grown rapidly,” the CDC said, since 20 people were reported sick with the Salmonella Oranienburg strain on Sept. 2.
State and local officials have collected food items from some of the restaurants where people ate. The salmonella strain was found in a sample from a takeout condiment cup that contained cilantro and lime. The sick person said the condiment also had onions, but none were left in the cup when it was tested.
“Because multiple food items were present in the container and in the sample that was tested, it is not possible to know which food item was contaminated,” the CDC wrote in a statement. “We are using this information in conjunction with other available information to help narrow the list of possible foods linked to illness.”
A CDC map shows that the outbreak has stretched across the country, with the most cases in Texas and Oklahoma. Texas has reported 81 cases, and Oklahoma has reported 40. Illinois has reported 23 cases, Virginia has reported 22, and Minnesota has reported 19.
The infected people have ranged in age from less than 1 year old to 89, with a median age of 35. About 59% of cases are women. No deaths have been reported.
CDC officials believe the real number of infections is much higher than reported since people often recover from salmonella infection without medical care and aren’t tested, USA Today reported. It can take up to 4 weeks to determine whether someone was part of an outbreak.
Last month, 862,000 pounds of uncured antipasto products were recalled for possible salmonella contamination that sickened people across 17 states, USA Today reported.
Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, stomach cramps, and dehydration. Symptoms can begin 6 hours to 6 days after swallowing the bacteria, the CDC said. Most people recover without treatment in 4 to 7 days, though children under age 5 and adults over age 65 may have a more severe illness that requires medical treatment or hospitalization.