redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online
Bacteria commonly linked to uncooked poultry, raw milk and seafood from warm coastal waters is causing a rise in food-borne illnesses, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday.
Food-borne illnesses attributed to the bacterium Campylobacter, which typically originates from raw or undercooked poultry and raw milk products, rose by 14% last year compared with five years ago, accounting for more than one-third of all food poisoning illnesses and 10 percent of the deaths at the CDC´s 10 US monitoring sites.
Though far less common, food-borne illnesses linked to Vibrio, which is associated with shellfish, rose by 43% over 2006-2008 levels.
Overall, there was not a significant increase in the total number of food-borne illnesses from most other food pathogens, including salmonella and E. coli, the CDC said in its report. In fact, the 2012 figures were slightly less than those from 1996-1998. But Salmonella remains the pathogen most often linked to food-borne illness, accounting for 7,800 cases of the 19,531 food-borne illnesses reported at the CDC´s 10 monitoring stations last year. Campylobacter comes in a close second, followed distantly by Shigella, Cryptosporidium, Escherichia coli, Vibrio, Yersinia, Listeria and Cyclosporidium, the CDC reported.
While Salmonella killed the largest number of people, Listeria was the most deadly, killing 10.74 percent of the 121 infected patients.
The agency´s 2012 report focused only on these nine types of food germs, and counted only cases that were lab confirmed. Investigators reported about 20,000 such cases, including 4,563 hospitalizations and 68 deaths, at the CDC´s surveillance network of 10 monitoring sites. These sites capture roughly 15 percent of the US population.
While many food-borne illnesses go unreported, the CDC estimates that as many as 48 million Americans become sick from contaminated food each year. Symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea and even death, particularly for those with compromised immune systems.