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Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium Infections Linked to Tomatoes (Final Update)

Posted November 3, 2006

This outbreak appears to be over. However, Salmonella is an important cause of human illness in the United States. More information about Salmonella, and steps people can take to reduce their risk of infection, can be found on the CDC Salmonella Web Page.

This is an update of previously posted information on a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium caused by a unique molecular strain of this bacterium. This infection has no relationship to typhoid fever, which is caused by another bacterium. Persons infected with Salmonella Typhimurium typically have fever and diarrhea that resolve after about one week.

As of Friday, November 3, 2006 this outbreak has caused 183 cases in 21 states including AL (1), AR (4), CT (28), GA (1), IN (1), KY (19), MA (50), ME (8), MI (2), MN (14), NC (4), NE (1), NH (14), OH (4), PA (3), RI (6), TN (9), VA (3), VT (8), WA (1), and WI (2). All patients reside east of the Mississippi River except for a Washington state resident who had traveled to the Northeast U.S. Additionally, 2 patients infected by the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from Canada, one of whom had traveled to an affected state in the U.S. The median age of patients is 34 years, and 57% are female. Most patients had fever and diarrhea. Of all patients for whom clinical data has been reported, 22 (12%) were hospitalized; there have been no deaths reported.

The majority of patients became ill in the last 2 weeks of September, 2006. Among 111 ill persons who provided the date when their illness began, 93% became ill between September 14 and October 2. This outbreak is not ongoing, and is believed to be over. There is currently no evidence of continuing risk to the public.

Preliminary analyses of data collected by investigators indicate that tomatoes consumed at restaurants are the food responsible for this outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections. CDC has concluded that contaminated tomatoes associated with this outbreak have been consumed or destroyed and are no longer on the market or present in the food chain. Therefore, there is no evidence of ongoing risk, and CDC does not recommend that tomatoes be withdrawn from the market, nor does CDC advise that tomatoes should be avoided by consumers.

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