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CDC Investigating Cases of Salmonella serotype Agona

June 4, 1998
Contact: CDC, Division of Media Relations
(404) 639­3286

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working closely with other federal, state, and local health officials to investigate an increased number of cases of Salmonella serotype Agona. Salmonella is a bacterium that causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days and most persons recover without treatment. Severe cases of Salmonella infection can be treated with antibiotics.

During April ­ May 1998, 11 states reported an increase in Salmonella serotype Agona cases to CDC. As of June 4, 1998, 188 cases have been reported and 40 persons were hospitalized. Cases have been reported from Illinois (46), Indiana (29), Michigan (15), Ohio (21), Missouri (18), New York (22), Pennsylvania (20), Iowa (7), Kansas (3), West Virginia (2), and Wisconsin (5). No deaths have been reported. With coordination from CDC, a case-control study was conducted by state health departments from involved states to identify common source exposures.

Consumption of Millville brand Toasted Oats cereal, distributed by Aldi's supermarkets in the aforementioned states, is associated with these cases of S. Agona infections in April­May 1998. Other cereal products produced by the same plant have not been implicated, but investigations into these other products are ongoing. There is no evidence that toasted oat cereal products produced by other manufacturers are linked to illness. Consumers are advised to not eat Millville brand Toasted Oat cereals until further investigations by CDC, the Food and Drug Administration, and the states are completed.

CDC monitors the frequency of Salmonella infections in the United States, and assists local and state health departments in investigating outbreaks and devising control and prevention measures.

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