Salmonella Outbreak in 9 States Due to Sushi Confirmed by CDC


A salmonella outbreak traced back to sushi made with raw tuna has infected a total of 53 individuals so far.

A salmonella outbreak traced back to sushi made with raw tuna has infected a total of 53 individuals so far.

Confirmed in 9 US states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the specific bacterium as Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+). Although the cases are spread throughout 9 states across the country, the majority have been reported on the west coast. The latest number of cases include: Arizona (10), California (31), Illinois (1), Mississippi (1), New Mexico (6), South Dakota (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (1).

Ten of those people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. The bacterium does not cause paratyphoid fever, enteric fever, or typhoid fever, however, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps are symptoms of infection.

“At this time, a common brand or supplier of raw tuna linked to illnesses has not been identified, and there are no specific steps for restaurants, retailers, or consumers to take to protect their customers or themselves,” the CDC said in a news release.

While the source of the outbreak has not been identified, CDC conducted interviews revealed that the 36 sick patients, or 97%, reported eating sushi within week prior to getting sick. Out of those individuals, 34 of them, or 94%, said that the sushi they consumed was made with raw tuna.

What may be even more concerning is that a recent study proved that Salmonella typhi is showing antibiotic resistance on multiple continents. Children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems should be particularly careful due to the increased risk of illness.

“As the investigation continues, this is a good reminder to Californians that there are sometimes risks when eating raw or undercooked meats, fish or poultry,” Karen Smith, MD, MPH, director of California Department of Public Health, said in a statement.

The CDC along with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to investigate the outbreak.

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Timothy Wilt, MD, MPH | Credit: ACP
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