What is salmonella and how do you keep from getting it?
What’s most notable about the new salmonella strain that the CDC addresses in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report isn’t the 255 people in 32 states sickened. Or that 60 of those 255 have been hospitalized, a high percentage for salmonella.
It’s that the strain has shown limited vulnerability to the normal medical weapons.
“Testing showed that azithromycin and ciprofloxacin — two commonly prescribed oral antibiotics that are usually effective in treating severe salmonella infections — might not work against this strain,” the Centers for Disease Control said in an email.
Salmonella is one of the most common food-borne illnesses, striking 1.2 million Americans each year. Most people recover from the diarrhea within a week without using any drugs. But severe infections, such as the ones that hospitalize 23,000 Americans each year, call for medication.
“Resistant infections can be harder to treat, and patients may be at increased risk for developing serious complications,” the CDC says.
Salmonella kills 450 people each year.
The CDC says its investigation points to this new form of salmonella Newport originating in cattle from the United States and Mexico. It’s being transmitted to humans via U.S. beef and Mexican-style soft cheese from Mexico.
Recommendations from the CDC for dodging salmonella in beef and soft cheese:
▪ Cook ground beef to 160 degrees, steaks and roasts to 145 degrees. Let the latter sit for three minutes before cutting.
▪ Don’t eat cheese that’s not made with pasteurized milk.