Salmonellosis – Finland

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Two different Salmonella outbreaks have been reported in Finland with one linked to zucchini from Spain.

The first outbreak in the Finnish city of Rovaniemi affected 20 people but a source was not found. The second incident in the city of Mikkeli led to eight illnesses and was caused by contaminated chopped zucchini from Spain that was put in a salad.

People are also advised to follow good hygiene standards at home such as boiling water and washing and cooking food sufficiently before consuming it.

Because of the increase in infections, authorities are disinfecting trucks with water and inspecting businesses that sell drinking water as well as food outlets. A group of six inspectors are making daily visits to such businesses.

Some of those affected have reported water does not reach them regularly and when it does arrive, it is cloudy and has an odor.

Photo: Salmonella (red) invading human cells.

Infection with salmonella in developed countries generally results in food poisoning. The organisms enter through the digestive tract and must be ingested in large numbers to cause disease in healthy adults. Between 60% to 80% of salmonella infections cases go un-diagnosed.

Risk factors for salmonella infections include a variety of foods. Meats such as chicken and pork have the possibility to be contaminated. A variety of vegetables and sprouts may also have salmonella. Lastly, a variety of processed foods such as chicken nuggets and pot pies may also contain this bacteria.

Salmonella was first visualized in 1880. The name Salmonella was not used until 1900.

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