Last month, the Porcupine Health Unit announced that it was investigating several reports of Salmonella in the Cochrane district of Ontario. According to recent reports, the investigation into what caused at least 7 people to become ill with salmonellosis is ongoing.
Moose FM reported last week that the source of the Salmonella outbreak has not yet been identified and that the strain of Salmonella had not yet been determined.
In a press release dated Aug. 18, the health unit announced that 2 people who had become ill with Salmonella infections had died. Both had underlying medical conditions and suffered complications of the gastrointestinal illness caused by Salmonella that may have contributed to their deaths.
Area physicians were alerted to the possibility that additional cases could be reported in Cochrane, and inspectors were conducting testing to determine whether all the ill individuals’ infections were from a common source. At the time of the announcement, another Salmonella outbreak had been linked to the consumption of green onions. “However it has been confirmed that one of the isolates is not S. oranienburg–the type of Salmonella infection recently linked to eating green onions and declared as an outbreak by Dr King, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health,” the health unit stated in the press release.
No new cases of Salmonella have been reported in association with the latest outbreak since August 20.
Salmonella is one of the most common enteric (intestinal) infections in the United States. Salmonellosis–the disease caused by Salmonella–is the second most common bacterial foodborne illness after Campylobacter infection. It is estimated that 1.4 million cases of salmonellosis occur each year in the U.S.; 95 percent of those cases are related to foodborne causes.
Approximately 220 of each 1000 cases result in hospitalization and eight of every 1000 cases result in death. About 500 to 1,000 deaths–31 percent of all food-related deaths–are caused by Salmonella infections each year.