Public health officials in the United States are warning travelers who have spent time in Mexico to be aware of multidrug-resistant strains of Salmonella Newport.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that some travelers have been infected with the strains, which have developed the ability to defeat drugs designed to kill them. Salmonella infections from the strains can be difficult to treat and result in very serious illnesses.
“Many travelers with MDR (multidrug-resistant) Salmonella Newport infections reported eating beef, cheese — including queso fresco and Oaxaca— beef jerky, or dried beef — carne seca — before they got sick,” according to the alert from the CDC.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that clinicians should follow CDC’s treatment guidance when they encounter patients with Salmonella infections in people who have traveled to Mexico.
For people who plan to travel to Mexico, the CDC recommends the following:
- Follow safe eating, drinking, cooking, and food handling habits to help reduce your chance of getting sick while traveling. Find out which foods and drinks are usually safe for travelers.
- Be aware that beef jerky and other dried beef products can cause illness if not prepared safely. If you don’t know whether beef jerky was prepared safely, consider not eating it.
- Handle and cook beef safely
when preparing it at home.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating, before and after touching food, and after using the toilet.
- Travelers who feel very ill or have severe symptoms should seek medical care immediately.
- Do not:
About Salmonella infections
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.
Anyone who has developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.
Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.
Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.
Additional information for travelers can be found at the links:
- Health Information for Travelers to Mexico
- Food Poisoning Symptoms and When to See a Doctor
- Getting Health Care During Travel
- Can I Bring Food into the United States?
- Four Steps to Food Safety at Home
- Salmonella Questions and Answers
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