Public health officials have confirmed more patients in an outbreak of infections from Salmonella Hartford, but the source of the pathogen remains unknown.
The patient count is now 47, up from 31 a week ago, according to the Food and Drug Administration’s investigation team. The agency continues to search for the root source of Salmonella and reports that it is continuing traceback efforts. However, the agency has not reported what food is being traced.
Other than the number of confirmed patients, the FDA has not released any information about them. The agency has not reported what states the patients live in and has not reported their ages.
Other ongoing outbreaks
In an outbreak that has caused liver infections from the hepatitis A virus, the CDC decreased the number of patients from nine to five. The FDA did not report any details about the CDC’s decision to exclude the four patients and the CDC has not posted any information of its own about the outbreak.
As with the Salmonella Hartford outbreak, the FDA has not reported the age range of the hepatitis A patients of where they live.
The FDA has begun traceback efforts but has not reported what food or foods are being traced. The agency has also begun sample collection and analysis but has not reported where the samples are being collected.
For an outbreak of infections from Listeria monocytogenes, the Food and Drug Administration is continuing traceback efforts. The source of the outbreak continues to be listed as unknown.
The FDA has also begun on-site inspection and sample analysis but still hasn’t reported what food or locations are involved in the investigation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 11 people infected across 10 states. Ten of the patients have been so sick that they had to be admitted to hospitals. No deaths have been reported.
The outbreak is long-running with patients having been identified from July 2018 through January this year, according to the CDC. The patients range in age from 47 to 88 years old, with a median age of 73. One-fourth of the patients are female.
Public health officials are continuing to interview patients to find out what foods they ate in the weeks before becoming sick. It can take from several days up to more than two months for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop.
The patients have been identified and linked using whole genome sequencing, which provides DNA fingerprints of the bacteria. The patients’ samples have the same genetic signatures, which shows they are all part of a single outbreak.
The sick people live across the country, suggesting nationally distributed food. The patients live in Washington, California, Colorado, South Dakota, Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
In another outbreak, the FDA has identified enoki mushrooms distributed by Utopia Foods Inc. of Glendale, NY, and imported from China, and enoki mushrooms labeled as “Producer: Shandong Youhe Biotechnology, Co.,” with an address in China and “Distributed By: Sun Hong Foods Inc.” as likely sources of Listeria monocytogenes infections.
Enoki mushrooms are long thin white mushrooms, usually sold in clusters. They are especially popular in East Asian cuisine and are also known as enokitake, golden needle, futu, seafood, or lily mushrooms. There have been about 20 recalls of a wide variety of brands of imported enoki mushrooms in the United States in the past two years because of contamination with Listeria.
As of its most recent outbreak update on Jan. 18, the CDC reported three patients included in this outbreak. Through ongoing import and product sampling of enoki mushrooms, two strains of Listeria monocytogenes detected on enoki mushroom products have been determined through Whole Genome Sequencing to be the same strains of Listeria monocytogenes linked to illnesses in this outbreak. Both strains are included in this outbreak investigation.
Additional sample collection and analysis conducted by the Maryland Department of Health have also identified both outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes in two product samples of enoki mushrooms. These products that tested positive have the following printed on their packaging “Producer: Shandong Youhe Biotechnology Co.,” with an address in China, and “Distributed By: Sun Hong Foods, Inc.”
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