Salmonella Oranienburg Outbreak
Investigators from the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) identified Cilantro as a possible source of a Salmonella outbreak. According to the CDC, there were more than 279 confirmed cases of the illness in 29 states in the United States as of September 21, 2021(Beach, 2021). The first cases of the illness were first reported on September 2, 2021. Investigators from the CDC could not immediately confirm the cause of the illness as it remained a mystery. More people from states across the US were coming down with the illness. A strain of the illness was found in a food container containing cilantro and lime after more thorough testing. Despite the positive test results, the actual cause of the illness was not clear as the food container contained other food items thus contaminating the test. The CDC was however using the new information about the possible cause in conjunction with information already at its disposal to zero in on a possible cause.
The Salmonella outbreak affected a diverse population. Those who reported the illness varied in age with the youngest being 1 year old and the oldest being 89 years old (Beach, 2021). Out of the 94 cases analyzed by investigators from the CDC, 35 identified as females while 59 identified as male (Beach, 2021). However, the true number of the sick was probably higher as Salmonella is not a deadly illness and most people recover without requiring any medical attention. The numbers may also not be higher because it takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a new case is part of an outbreak or not (Beach, 2021). To understand the source of the illness, state and local health officials interviewed those who contracted the illness. However, an analysis of the collected data has not pointed out the exact cause of the illness. Luckily, Salmonella illness is not deadly and there were no reports of dead patients or seriously critical ones. The infection is spread through the consumption of infected food or water and can be prevented by being hygienic (Beach, 2021). The Salmonella outbreak was not limited to a particular state or demographic and with no conclusive evidence of its source, investigators could not recommend a possible remedy.
Yersinia Outbreak in Norway
In Norway, a Yersinia outbreak was reported in April 2021. Alarmed by a spike in Yersinia infections since April 2021, officials in Norway formally set out to find its source (Clark, 2021). Preliminary data and geographical range of the infection led officials from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health to conclude the source of the infection was a widely distributed food item. The affected patients were between the ages of 16 and 54 with two-thirds of them identifying women (Clark, 2021). A bacterial from ill people with the same DNA profile led investigators to conclude the source of the infection was the same for all patients. The recorded number of cases totaled 15 in several counties in Norway (Clark, 2021). To try and solve the mystery of the cause of the illness, the investigator also collected food samples from the patients.
Outbreaks such as Yersinia are common in Norway and do not result in a major health crisis. Yersinia infection is common in Norway and every year 40 to 50 cases are recorded (Clark, 2021). From a sample of 150 ground pork in a study done in 2019, 9 cases of yersinia were isolated (Clark, 2021). The study showed cases of Yersinia in pork are limited despite pork being widely regarded as a possible source of yersinia. Another outbreak in Norway in 2020 was traced to Salad and imported spinach (Clark, 2021). Yersinia is transmitted through the consumption of food items infected with the virus. The infection can be prevented by being hygienic (Clark, 2021). While it is not deadly, several deaths are credited to Yersinia each year. With Yersinia being a commonly occurring infection in Norway, basic hygiene is encouraged by authorities to keep its outbreak at bay.
Beach, C. (2021). Cilantro identified as a possible source behind the Mystery Salmonella Oranienburg outbreak. Food Safety News. Web.
Clark, M. (2021). Norway probes Yersinia outbreak with 15 sick. Food Safety News. Web.