September 22, 2020

Canada Salmonella Newport Outbreak Linked to Mystery U.S. Illnesses

A Canada Salmonella Newport outbreak is linked to the mystery outbreak in the United States, according to a health notice published by Public Health Agency of Canada. As in the U.S., the source of this pathogen has not been identified. The outbreak is ongoing.

Canada Salmonella Newport Outbreak Linked to Mystery U.S. Illnesses

At least 59 people are sick as of July 24, 2020. The case count by province is: British Columbia (23), Alberta (31), Manitoba (3), Ontario (1), and Prince Edward Island (1). The illness onset dates range from mid June and mid July 2020. The patient age range is from 11 to 77 years of age. Out of 28 people who provided information to public health officials, six have been hospitalized.

Isolates taken from ill persons in Canada have a similar genetic fingerprint to isolate from ill persons in the U.S., indicating that they have a similar common exposure. Investigators in Canada and the U.S. are collaborating to try to find the source of these outbreaks.

This outbreak is likely to grow, since the time between a person gets sick, sees their doctor, is tested, and has those tests reported to the government is two to four weeks.

Since no particular food, grocery store or restaurant chain has been identified, the best way to protect yourself is to follow basic food safety rules when preparing food. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling raw meat, eggs, and fresh produce. Always cook food to a safe final internal temperature and use a food thermometer ever time. Read and following cooking instructions on food packages.

Avoid cross-contamination between raw meats and eggs and items that are eaten raw. Always wash fresh produce under cool, running water. Never rinse meats before cooking because it will spread bacteria around the kitchen. And sanitize countertops, cutting boards, and utensils before and after use.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include a fever, nausea, stomach and abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea that may be bloody. People usually get sick 6 to 72 hours after eating food that is contaminated with the pathogen. While most people recover in about a week without medical treatment, some, especially those in high risk groups, can become sick enough to need hospitalization.

If you have been experiencing these symptoms, whether you live in Canada or the U.S., see your doctor. There are long term health complications after a Salmonella infection, even if you recover completely. You may be part of this Salmonella Newport outbreak.

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