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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Reading infections linked to raw turkey products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is monitoring the outbreak.
Ninety people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported from 26 states.
Forty people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick.
In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. Two ill people lived in a household where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets.
The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.
A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified.
The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.
Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body. In rare cases, Salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Children younger than 5 years of age, adults older than 65 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.