Salmonellosis – Jamaica

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An apparent salmonella outbreak at a resort in Jamaica has ruined vacations for  holiday travelers.

Cases were apparently mostly mild, with allegedly 100 people claiming to have had symptoms. A small number of people needed to be hospitalized.

The outbreak comes at a time when food-borne illnesses have been on the decline in part because fewer people are eating in restaurants and more people are practicing better hygiene. Assuming proper hygiene was in place at the resort kitchens, a contaminated supply of eggs is in this case the most likely cause for the outbreak. Reports of the exact source of the outbreak have yet to emerge.

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

Photo: Salmonella (red) invading human cells.

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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