We’re Likely to See More Drug-Resistant Salmonella Outbreaks Like the One in California

Why? Salmonella-outbreak numbers are stable year-to-year, and drug resistance is increasing.

Salmonella species growing on X.L.D. agar.
National Journal
Brian Resnick
Oct. 9, 2013, 8:38 a.m.

Tain­ted chick­en from a Cali­for­nia-based sup­pli­er has led to sal­mon­ella in­fec­tions in 278 in­di­vidu­als across 17 states. That num­ber is likely to rise. Forty-two per­cent of those in­fec­ted have been hos­pit­al­ized, which is double the ex­pec­ted hos­pit­al­iz­a­tion rate for such an out­break, the Los Angeles Times re­ports. No deaths have been re­por­ted.

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion is call­ing this a “com­plex out­break,” as four out of sev­en of the strains of bac­teria in­volved “ex­hib­ited drug res­ist­ance to one or more com­monly pre­scribed an­ti­bi­ot­ics.”

Amid a shuttered gov­ern­ment, CDC had to re­call work­ers and has lim­ited means of track­ing the out­break. Speak­ing to USA TODAY, Chris­toph­er Braden, dir­ect­or of food-borne ill­ness at the agency, said Pulsen­et, the agency’s com­pu­ter­ized sys­tem for de­tect­ing out­breaks, was shut down when the out­break oc­curred. “We were try­ing to do this without the auto­mat­ic sys­tem, and it was nearly im­possible,” Reyn­olds told the pa­per. Pulsen­et is now back on­line.

Not­with­stand­ing gov­ern­ment shut­down, it’s likely we’re go­ing to see more of these epis­odes. It’s due to a con­ver­gence of two trends.

1. Sal­mon­ella out­break num­bers are frus­trat­ingly stable.

“With sal­mon­ella, you see the num­bers just stag­nat­ing and in some years, you have seen the num­bers go up,” Eliza­beth Ha­gen, USDA’s un­der­sec­ret­ary for food safety, told me earli­er this year. She said it’s due, in part, to out­dated food-safety prac­tices.

“We’ve been do­ing things largely the same way since the 1950s,” she ex­plained. “We have an enorm­ous pro­por­tion of our re­sources fo­cused on look­ing at visu­al de­fects on the birds that don’t ac­tu­ally cor­rel­ate with food-safety risk.”

2. An­ti­bi­ot­ic res­ist­ance is grow­ing in sal­mon­ella.

In Septem­ber, CDC re­leased a com­pre­hens­ive re­port on the growth of an­ti­bi­ot­ic res­ist­ance in many strains of bac­teria. Drug-res­ist­ant bac­teria now ac­count for 2 mil­lion in­fec­tions and 23,000 deaths per year. Res­ist­ance is grow­ing in dis­eases that are only found in hos­pit­als, like the “night­mare bac­teria” CRE, but also in dis­eases that are found in every­day loc­a­tions, such as food pack­aging. “About 5 per­cent of non-typhoid­al sal­mon­ella tested by CDC are res­ist­ant to five or more types of drugs,” the agency found. But these per­cent­ages have been grow­ing since at least 1996, when it was al­most nonex­ist­ent.

(CDC)

CDC de­scribes the dis­ease in aw­ful terms: “Most per­sons in­fec­ted with sal­mon­ella bac­teria de­vel­op diarrhea, fever, and ab­dom­in­al cramps 12 to 72 hours after in­fec­tion. The ill­ness usu­ally lasts 4 to 7 days, and most per­sons re­cov­er without treat­ment.” And those with the drug-res­ist­ant vari­ety are more likely to end up in the hos­pit­al. In all, the CDC es­tim­ates, drug-res­ist­ant sal­mon­ella costs $365 mil­lion a year to treat.

What We're Following See More »
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
12 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
21 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
THE SHAKE-UP CONTINUES
RNC’s Spicer to Work from Trump HQ
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican party will coordinate more closely going forward, with the GOP's top communicator and chief strategist Sean Spicer increasingly working out of Trump campaign headquarters, the campaign confirmed Sunday."

Source:
MORE PALACE INTRIGUE
Manafort Resigns from Trump Campaign
4 days ago
THE LATEST

In a statement released Friday morning, the Trump campaign announced that Paul Manafort has resigned as campaign chairman. The move comes after fresh questions had been raised about Manafort's work in Russia and Ukraine, and Trump brought in Stephen Bannon "as a de facto demotion for Manafort."

Source:
×