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Common foodborne infections decreased, less common spreading

Staff writer |
In 2014, rates of infection from a serious form of E. coli and one of the more common Salmonella serotypes decreased compared with the baseline period of 2006-2008.

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Meanwhile, some other less common types of Salmonella increased. Campylobacter and Vibrio rose again in 2014, continuing the increase observed during the past few years, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This report summarizes the rates of infection per 100,000 population and tracks illness trends for key foodborne illnesses.

Infection with Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157, which can sometimes lead to kidney failure, decreased 32 percent when compared with 2006-2008 and 19 percent when compared with the most recent three years. These infections are often linked to consumption of undercooked ground beef and raw leafy vegetables.

Salmonella Typhimurium, which has been linked to poultry, beef, and other foods, was 27 percent lower than it was in 2006-2008, continuing a downward trend begun in the mid-1980s.

Two other less common types of Salmonella, Javiana and Infantis, more than doubled for reasons that are unclear. Salmonella Javiana is concentrated in the southeastern United States, but has been spreading within the Southeast and to other areas of the country. However, when all Salmonella serotypes are combined, there was no change in 2014.

Campylobacter increased 13 percent and Vibrio increased 52 percent compared with 2006-2008. Yersinia has declined enough to meet the Healthy People 2020 goal.

The data are from FoodNet, CDC's active surveillance system that tracks nine common foodborne pathogens in 10 states and monitors trends in foodborne illness in about 15 percent of the U.S. population.

Today's report compares the 2014 frequency of infection with the frequency in the baseline period 2006-2008 and in the three most recent years. Overall in 2014, FoodNet logged just over 19,000 infections, about 4,400 hospitalizations, and 71 deaths from the nine foodborne germs it tracks. Salmonella and Campylobacter were by far the most common – accounting for about 14,000 of the 19,000 infections reported.


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