The Associated Press reported that the salmonella linked to tainted eggs from an Iowa firm (Editor’s note: two firms have now been identified and are part of the recall) will likely grow, federal health officials said Thursday.
That’s because illnesses occurring after mid-July may not be reported yet, said Dr. Christopher Braden, an epidemiologist with the federal Centers for Disease Control.
Almost 2,000 illnesses from the strain of salmonella linked to the eggs were reported between May and July, about 1,300 more than usual, he said. No deaths have been reported. The CDC is continuing to receive information from state health departments as people report their illnesses.
Minnesota, a state with some of the best food-borne illness investigators in the country, has tied at least seven salmonella illnesses to the eggs. California has reported 266 illnesses since June and believes many are related to the eggs. Colorado saw 28 cases in June and July, about four times the usual number.
Other states have seen a jump in reports of the same type of salmonella. Spikes or clusters of suspicious cases have also been reported in Arizona, Illinois , Nevada, North Carolina , Texas and Wisconsin.
So far, no cases have been reported in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware, however. Officials are warning individuals to throw away or return eggs provided under the following brand names:
The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening, especially to those with weakened immune systems.
The form of salmonella tied to the outbreak can be passed from chickens that appear healthy. And it grows inside eggs, not just on the shell, Braden noted.