Salmonella outbreaks hit Virginia, Maryland

A dastardly duo of salmonella outbreaks has sickened 36 people across 17 states — including Virginia and Maryland, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said the outbreaks are tied to Italian-style meats and it’s “working to determine specific brands and products that are causing illnesses and whether the outbreaks are linked” to the same meat brands and products.

The suspect meats are salami, prosciutto, coppa, and soppressata, that can often be found in antipasto or charcuterie assortments.

So far, there are no reported deaths.

According to the CDC’s outbreak map, one person in Virginia is sick and one person in Maryland is sick. The illness has not been reported in D.C.

The CDC said you’re at higher risk for severe salmonella illness if you are 65 years or older, or if you have a health condition or take medicines that lower your body’s ability to fight germs. Children younger than 5 are more likely to get very sick from salmonella.

To avoid becoming ill, the CDC recommends heating all Italian-style meats to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or until steaming hot before eating if you’re at higher risk.

The CDC lists the following symptoms:

  • Most people infected with salmonella experience diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps.
    • Symptoms usually start six hours to six days after swallowing the bacteria.
    • Most people recover without treatment after four to seven days.
  • Some people — especially children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems — may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.
  • For more information about salmonella, see the CDC’s Salmonella Questions and Answers page.

Call your health care provider right away if you have any of these severe salmonella symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102 degrees;
  • Diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving;
  • Bloody diarrhea;
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down;
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Not peeing much;
    • Dry mouth and throat;
    • Feeling dizzy when standing up.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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