June 22, 1995
ALFALFA SPROUTS SUSPECTED LINK IN SALMONELLA CASES
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- An uncommon type of salmonella, Salmonella stanley, has been reported in Illinois and may be linked to the consumption of alfalfa sprouts, Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, today announced.
Illinois has this year confirmed 18 cases of Salmonella stanley in seven counties, with all but one of the cases reporting an onset of illness since the beginning of March. Seventeen of the cases are from the Chicago metropolitan area and one is from Champaign County. Four of the cases required hospitalization.
In addition to Illinois, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said an unusual number of Salmonella stanley cases have been identified in Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington.
While investigations in Arizona and Michigan have linked Salmonella stanley illness to alfalfa sprouts, Dr. Lumpkin said the Illinois cases have not definitely implicated alfalfa sprouts as a common source.
Dr. Lumpkin has recommended that consumers and food service workers thoroughly rinse alfalfa sprouts and other uncooked fresh vegetables and fruits with tap water before eating.
Illinois normally averages four cases of Salmonella stanley every six months.
The following counties have reported cases of Salmonella stanley: Cook, 9; DuPage, 3; McHenry, 2; Kane, 1; Lake, 1; Will, 1; and Champaign, 1.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning can include headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, chills, fever, nausea and dehydration. Symptoms of the illness appear six to 72 hours after ingestion.
Dr. Lumpkin said children under 1 year of age; people who have had ulcer surgery or take antacids; and those with a weakened immune system, such as cancer patients receiving chemotherapy or persons with HIV or AIDS, are most susceptible to salmonella poisoning.
Illinois averages between 2,000 and 3,000 cases of salmonella poisoning a year, but Dr. Lumpkin estimates that 10 to 100 times that many salmonella illnesses actually occur each year.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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