The number of people in a Salmonella outbreak in Finland has doubled to more than 50, according to public health officials.

In July, 27 people in different parts of Finland were reported to have fallen ill with Salmonella Mbandaka infections. As of early September, 54 people have been sickened in the outbreak.

Patients fell sick between April and August and 31 of them are women. Their average age is 29 and the range is under 1 to 74 years old.

Four people were hospitalized because of their infections and only one patient had traveled abroad before becoming ill, said the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Link to chicken
From 38 patients interviewed, 36 had eaten various chicken products before becoming ill, either at home or when eating out.

The Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto) and local agencies are tracing potential sources based on information given in the interviews but so far no common product has been identified.

Overall, the number of Salmonella cases has decreased in the past 10 years in Finland.

In 2021, a large Salmonella outbreak affected more than 700 people. The implicated food was a salad with iceberg lettuce, cucumber and peas served in several kindergartens. A total of seven Salmonella outbreaks sickened 824 people compared to three outbreaks with 21 sick in 2020.

About Salmonella
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 food poisoning 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.

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