USDA asked to look into deadly salmonella strain

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Congressman Henry Waxman, D- Calif., is concerned about Salmonella Newport. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, Waxman urges the USDA to stop the spread of this deadly strain of salmonella that is resistant to nine antibiotics.

Waxman wants the USDA to determine how it is spreading and to initiate testing in slaughterhouses to protect the population from this particularly virulent strain of salmonella.

In 2001 a total of seven outbreaks affected 100 people. So far this year, 129 people have already become sick from this strain of salmonella. And, according to Waxman, one person has died.

Each year, about 1.4 million cases of salmonella poisoning occur in the U.S., of those, about 10 percent are caused by Salmonella Newport. And, according to testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 26 percent of this strain of salmonella are resistant to several antibiotics. That’s an increase of 1 percent since 1998.

Of particular concern say CDC officials is this strain of salmonella’s ability to transfer its level of resistance to other bacteria.

Salmonella Newport is a bug that dairy producers battle, too. It has been discovered in undercooked hamburger and cheese made from unpasteurized milk. Symptoms include: diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, bloody stools and vomiting. This opportunistic strain of salmonella poses the most risk to young children, the elderly and anyone with another illness.

USA Today

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