May 22, 2015 — Raw tuna in sushi has been linked to at least 53 cases of Salmonella food poisoning in nine states since March, according to a warning from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Ten people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Over half of the illnesses occurred in California. At least 31 people have gotten sick in six Southern Californian counties, including Los Angeles (9), San Diego (7), and Orange (6), according to the California Department of Health.
States that have reported cases include: Arizona (10), California (31), Illinois (1), Mississippi (1), New Mexico (6), South Dakota (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (1).
No recalls have been issued and the source of the outbreak is unknown, but 36 out of 37 (97%) patients who were interviewed reported eating sushi in the week before getting sick.
Over 80% of victims reported eating a sushi item containing raw “spicy tuna.” In 2012, nearly 59,000 pounds of frozen raw yellowfin tuna was recalled after being linked to a 20-state Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 116 people and caused 12 hospitalizations.
The outbreak strain has been identified as Salmonella paratyphi B variant. Victims range in age from infants under one year old to an 83 year-old. Health officials warn:
“As the investigation continues, this is a good reminder to Californians that there are sometimes risks when eating raw or undercooked meats, fish or poultry. This is particularly true for young children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems who may be at an increased risk of severe illness.”
What is Salmonella Paratyphi?
According to the FDA, Salmonella paratyphi B variant typically causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after exposure. In some cases, infections can spread beyond the gastrointestinal system and become life-threatening. This type of Salmonella does not cause paratyphoid fever, enteric fever, or typhoid fever.
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