(USA TODAY) – Ninety-two people in the United States have been infected in an outbreak of drug-resistant salmonella after coming in contact with raw chicken products, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.
Pennsylvania (11 cases), New York (10 cases), New Jersey (9 cases) and Massachusetts (9 cases) are among the worst hit of the 29 states in the outbreak of the multidrug-resistant strain, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said. The illness has led to 21 hospitalizations.
Lab evidence found that many types of raw chicken products – including raw chicken pet food and live chickens – resulted in people becoming sick, officials said.
As of now, a single supplier of raw chicken products has not been identified, officials said. The people who became sick reported buying different types of brands and types of chicken products.
The illnesses began in January and have been reported as recently as September, CDC officials said.
CDC officials are advising people handle raw chicken carefully, specifically by washing their hands before and after preparing food and cooking chicken thoroughly.
Officials have not advised stores stop selling raw chicken products or people avoid properly cooked chicken. The CDC does recommend pet owners not feed raw chicken to their animals.
Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts four to seven days.
While most people recover without treatment, some patients do need to be hospitalized if they are experiencing severe diarrhea, officials said.