A salmonella outbreak over the weekend has left two dead in Canada. As of April 5th, there have been 63 confirmed cases of salmonella, according to Health Canada. So far, 18 individuals have been hospitalized after contracting the disease.
The outbreak is in six provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. Apparently, the outbreak is ongoing as illnesses continue to be reported.
Individuals became sick between November 2018 and March 2019, but no source has been found yet. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is conducting an investigation into possible sources. As of right now, there are no food recall warnings.
TLDR; Over the weekend, Health Canada announced that there is a salmonella outbreak across the country. Officials have found 63 confirmed cases of salmonella that have left 2 people dead. Investigations into the source of the outbreak are ongoing, but public health officials warn to be cautious when handling raw meat products and to take precautions when visiting hospitals.
NEW OUTBREAK: Outbreak investigators are currently gathering information on a possible source that is causing 63 #Salmonella illnesses. As the investigation evolves we will keep you updated. Learn more: https://t.co/anugA5zkNLpic.twitter.com/tUjczInLkF
There are reported salmonella cases in six provinces, with most of them in British Columbia. It’s possible that there are more cases, but the contagion takes about four to five weeks to identify.
The number of reported cases are as follows:
- British Columbia, 23 cases
- Alberta, 10 cases
- Saskatchewan, 8 cases
- Manitoba, 10 cases
- Ontario, 10 cases
- Quebec, 2 cases
Most people who fall ill recover after a few days. Some might even have the disease but show no symptoms. In these cases, however, it’s still possible for contagious people to transmit the disease.
Those with weakened immune systems like infants and the elderly are most at risk. Salmonella doesn’t discriminate though. Reported cases have affected people between 1 and 87 years old. A whopping 57% of reported infections affect women.
So far, 18 people have been hospitalized and two have died following complications. In both deaths, it’s unclear whether a salmonella infection was the main cause of death.
Salmonella makes roughly 87,500 Canadians sick every year. The most common cause of salmonella is improper handling and cooking of food.
Some of the most common foods include chicken, eggs, and seafood. If you don't wash your hands after handling raw poultry, your other food will also be contaminated with salmonella.
People who have contracted salmonella usually show symptoms within 72 hours. These include fever, chills, diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms usually last for about a week and require no treatment. Sometimes, antibiotics are required.
If you think you've contracted the disease, make sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Health Canada is conducting an ongoing investigation into the source of the outbreak. Canadians are warned to pay close attention when handling and preparing raw food to avoid any more serious cases of salmonella.
Most at risk are infants and the elderly, so keep an eye out.
Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.