Salmonella Cases Dip but Food Poisoning Rates Remain High
New CDC report finds certain contaminants, such as Vibrio and E. coli, on the rise
FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- While the United States has seen a decline in the number of Salmonella illnesses in recent years, there's been little progress overall in reducing food poisoning outbreaks, according to a report published in the April 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The new report tracked patterns of foodborne illness outbreaks for 10 states. In 2013, the CDC's food poisoning reporting system identified 19,000 related infections, 4,200 hospitalizations, and 80 deaths among the 48 million residents of these states. Salmonella remains the most frequent cause of food poisoning, accounting for 38 percent of all cases. Second was the Campylobacter bacterium, which accounted for 35 percent of foodborne infections. Rates of illnesses due to Vibrio, a bacterial toxin found in shellfish, have actually spiked recently, the CDC noted.
But there was some good news: In 2013, the rate of Salmonella infections fell by 9 percent, compared with the rate in 2010 to 2012, the CDC report found. But the current rate of Salmonella infections of 15 cases per 100,000 people is still below the goal of 11.4 per 100,000, which the CDC hopes to reach by 2020.
In addition, food poisoning from another bacteria, Escherichia coli, have also been creeping up again after a period of decline. "The progress that has been noted since 2006 to 2008 [against E. coli] has stalled," Robert Tauxe, M.D., deputy director of the CDC's Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, said during a noon press briefing. "Still, E. coli infections are 30 percent lower than they were in 1996." Those most affected by food poisoning were children under 5 and adults 65 and older, according to Tauxe.