The number of people sick in a Salmonella outbreak in Sweden traced to eggs has gone up again to nearly 80.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) said 76 people were sick, which is up from 48 in a previous update.
Patients from 16 different regions have been confirmed as infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis.
Sick people include 36 women and 40 men who fell ill between early December 2022 and the end of January 2023. They are one to 91 years old with a median age of 35.
In late December 2022, Salmonella Enteritidis was identified at CA Cedergren, a major Swedish producer in one of the egg-laying stables during a routine environmental sampling check.
After Salmonella was found at the farm in Småland, the Swedish Agency for Agriculture said that 165,000 laying hens must be killed. Similar strains have previously been found in several other countries.
National control program data shows it is unusual to find Salmonella in Swedish meat or eggs and most people who get sick are affected abroad or by imported food.
The outbreak has been linked to eggs, which were recalled by Coop, Axfood, ICA, Lidl, and Kronägg and are now past their shelf life dates.
Recent cases appear to involve people who have carried the infection for a while before being tested and getting sampling results or instances of secondary infections from other patients.
The outbreak was investigated by the Swedish Agency for Agriculture, the Swedish Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket), the Public Health Agency of Sweden as well as regional and local authorities.
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.
Anyone who has eaten any of the implicated eggs and 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 severe illnesses 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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