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Two More Salmonella Cases in County

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Two San Diego County adults have tested positive for Salmonella, according to the County's Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). One adult was exposed in Texas; the other did not travel outside the state. These cases are related to the multi-state outbreak associated with consuming certain types of raw tomatoes.

Since mid-April, 383 persons nationwide have been infected with Salmonella Saintpaul, the same strain of the disease identified in 30 states, including California.

A four-year-old San Diego County child last week tested positive for Salmonella Saintpaul, and also was exposed to the disease in Texas. Including today’s reported cases, there are a total of three San Diego County cases of the disease associated with the nationwide outbreak. 

“The investigation and surveillance conducted by HHSA Community Epidemiology and the County’s Department of Environmental Health will continue,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “We urge the public to follow federal Food and Drug Administration recommendations to not consume certain raw tomatoes.”

To date in 2008, there have been 165 Salmonella cases in San Diego County not related to the nationwide outbreak.

The California Department of Public Health recommends Californians use caution in selecting tomatoes based on guidance from the Food and Drug Administration. FDA has no indication that tomatoes grown in California are associated with this outbreak. FDA preliminary data suggest that raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw round red tomatoes are the cause.

At this time, consumers should limit their tomato consumption to tomatoes that have not been implicated in the outbreak.FDA guidance is available at http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html .

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12–72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 – 7 days.

Although most people recover without treatment, severe infections may occur. Infants, elderly persons and those with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness. When severe infection occurs, Salmonella may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and can cause death. In these severe cases, antibiotic treatment may be necessary.

For more information on Salmonella, please visit the Centers for Disease Control Web site at www.cdc.gov and click on “Health Topics A-Z.”