June 4, 1998
SALMONELLA AGONA INCREASE
LINKED TO EATING MILLVILLE TOASTED OATS CEREAL
SPRINGFIELD, IL C The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced that consumption of Millville "Toasted Oats" dry cereal has been linked to an increase in the number of Salmonella cases reported in 14 Illinois counties. Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, advises consumers to not eat Millville "Toasted Oats" if they have this product.
"A joint investigation by the Department, other state health departments and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has implicated Millville Toasted Oats which is produced by Malt-O-Meal Co. and sold by Aldis supermarkets across Illinois," said Dr. Lumpkin.
Aldis has withdrawn the products from its stores. The company is asking anyone who purchased the cereal to return it to Aldis for a refund. No other cereal products have been implicated, but the investigation is ongoing..
Forty-six people have become ill in Illinois since April 1 from the same type of Salmonella bacteria, agona, as determined in laboratory testing performed by the Department.
Other cases may be attributed to eating the cereal as additional laboratory tests are completed. Between April and June 4, 46 people have become ill: one from Champaign County; 20 from Cook County; one from Ford; one from Jackson; two from Livingston; one from Madison; one from McHenry; two from Sangamon; one from St. Clair; one from Stephenson; three from Tazewell; three from Will; four from Williamson; and five from Winnebago.
Salmonella bacteria cause much of the food poisoning in the world, including an estimated 4 million cases of salmonellosis in the United States each year. In Illinois, about 1,500 to 2,500 cases of Salmonella infection are reported each year.
Salmonellosis, the disease caused by the bacteria, is often mistaken for the Astomach flu.@ Symptoms, which usually appear within 12 to 36 hours after contact with the bacteria, can last from 24 hours to 12 days. They include headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, chills, fever, nausea and dehydration.
Most susceptible to the bacteria are children younger than 1 year old and people who have had ulcer surgery, take antacids or have a weakened immune system.
Salmonellosis is treated with fluids to prevent dehydration and with pain relievers to reduce fever and make the person more comfortable. In most cases, individuals infected by the bacteria do not require treatment with an antibiotic.
Salmonella bacteria are found naturally in raw foods of animal origin, such as raw meat, raw poultry and eggs. The bacteria is present in the stools of infected persons and can be passed from one person to another if hygiene and hand washing habits are inadequate.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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