USA – Multistate Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Heidelberg Infections Linked to Contact with Dairy Calves (Final Update)

CDC

  • This outbreak investigation is over. Illnesses could continue because people may not know they could get a Salmonella infection from contact with dairy calves or other cattle.
  • CDC, several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) investigated a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence(https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/outbreaks/investigating-outbreaks/index.html) indicated that contact with dairy calves and other cattle was the likely source of this outbreak.
  • A total of 56 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg were reported from 15 states.  Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 27, 2015 to November 25, 2017. Of those with available information:
    • 35% of people were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
    • 35% of people in this outbreak are children younger than 5 years.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations linked ill people in this outbreak to contact with calves, including dairy calves.
    • In interviews, ill people answered questions about contact with animals and foods eaten in the week before becoming ill. Of the 54 people interviewed, 34 (63%) reported contact with dairy calves or other cattle. Some of the ill people interviewed reported that they became sick after their calves became sick or died.
    • Surveillance in veterinary diagnostic laboratories showed that calves in several states were infected with the outbreak strains of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg
    • Information collected earlier in the outbreak indicated that most of the calves came from Wisconsin. Regulatory officials in several states attempted to trace the origin of calves linked to more recent illnesses. A specific source of cattle linked to newer illnesses was not identified.

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