CDC Probing Salmonella Outbreak In 18 States

Atlanta (AP) -- Health officials say a salmonella outbreak potentially linked to produce has sickened at least 172 people in 18 states, including Tennessee.

Officials with the CDC in Atlanta think the bacteria may have spread through some form of produce. The list of suspects includes tomatoes. But the illnesses have not been tied to any specific product, chain, restaurants or supermarkets.

No one has died in the outbreak, which stems from a common form of salmonella bacteria. Eleven people have been hospitalized.

The CDC first detected the outbreak two weeks ago through a national computer lab system that looks for patterns and matches in reports of food-borne illness. The US Food and Drug Administration has joined the investigation and will try to help trace the outbreak to its origin.

Dr. Chris Braden of the CDC says most of the cases are in adults, and more than 60 percent are women. Other than Tennessee, the states involved are Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.

There are about 2,500 types of salmonella, which generally cause a nonfatal, diarrhea-causing illness. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever and headache.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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