July 18, 2019

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Pig Ear Dog Treats Sickens 45

A Salmonella enterica serotype I 4,[5],12:i:- linked to pig ear dog treats has sickened at least 45 people in 13 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twelve people have been hospitalized because they are so sick.

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Pig Ear Dog Treats Sickens 45

The case count by state is: California (1), Illinois (3), Indiana (3), Iowa (12), Kansas (3), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (7), Missouri (3), New York (6), North Dakota (1), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (1), and Wisconsin (1).  Illness onset dates range from November 18, 2018 to June 13, 2019. The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 81 years. Of the 39 people who provided information, 12, or 31%, have been hospitalized.

Epidemiologic evidence indicates that contact with pig ear dog treats is the likely source of this outbreak. Ill persons answered questions about what they did the week before they sick sick, and 89% said they had contact with a dog. Of 24 people with information, 71% said they had contact with pig ear dog treats or with dogs who were fed pig ear dog treats.

Officials at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development gathered pig ear dog treats at retail locations where ill persons shopped. They sampled the pig ears for pathogens. Although the outbreak strain was not identified, other strains of Salmonella were. Investigators are checking to see if any human illnesses are linked to those strains. Retail locations where sampling occurred have removed pig ears from shelves.

A common supplier of pig ear dog treats hasn’t been identified. Investigators are using the PulseNet system to try to find people who may be part of this outbreak. Whole genome sequencing conducted on samples taken from patients showed that the bacteria were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak are likely to share a common source of infection.

Whole genome sequencing of Salmonella isolates from patents predicted antibiotic resistance or decreased susceptibility to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. That means these antibiotic-resistant infections may be more difficult to treat with commonly recommended antibiotics. And it may explain the high hospitalization rate of 31%; typical Salmonella outbreaks have a rate of about 20%.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include a fever, diarrhea that may be bloody, nausea, vomiitng, and abdominal cramps. People usually get sick 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the pathogen. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days and most people recover without treatment. If you or a family member have had contact with pig ear dog treats or a dog who eats them, and has been sick with these symptoms, see your doctor.

Bad Bug Law Team | Pritzker Law Firm

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a Salmonella infection after contact with pig ear dog treats, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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