Salmonella, strep, mumps: 5 recent & ongoing outbreaks in the US

Nearly every corner of the U.S. has been affected by various bacterial and viral infectious disease outbreaks. Five such outbreaks from the last three months are detailed below.

1. Mumps

As of Dec. 3, seven states have reported more than 100 mumps cases to the CDC this year. In fact, 46 states and the District of Columbia reported a total of 4,258 of mumps infections this year — every state but Delaware, Louisiana, Vermont and Wyoming. For perspective, in 2012, just 229 mumps cases were reported.

Arkansas is dealing with a particularly large mumps outbreak. The Arkansas Department of Health said there were 1,872 mumps cases as of Dec. 6.

2. Norovirus

Montana is dealing with a rash of norovirus outbreaks, with 12 outbreaks confirmed since late September that affected more than 250 people. Two outbreaks of the highly contagious virus in Billings occurred in long-term care facilities.

3. Salmonella

Barnyard animals like chickens and cows have been spreading Salmonella to Americans this year, according to the CDC.

For instance, backyard flocks of poultry like chickens, ducks and geese were responsible for giving 895 people from every state but Hawaii and New Mexico Salmonella infections. Of those, 209 had to be hospitalized, the CDC reported in October.

Dairy bull calves have also spread Salmonella to Americans this year — the young male cows are to blame for sickening 21 people in eight states in an outbreak of a multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg.

The CDC recommends thoroughly washing hands after touching animals to prevent Salmonella infections.

4. Streptococcus

Alaska is battling a new strain of group A Streptococcus bacteria that had hospitalized at least 28 people this year, as of Nov. 29. Three of the infected have died.

The outbreak started in early 2016 in Fairbanks when 10 people were hospitalized. It then showed up in Anchorage in July.

Strep bacteria can cause numerous types of infections, ranging from less-severe strep throat to infections like toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis, a fast-spreading skin infection that kills the body's soft tissue.

The elderly, very young and immunocompromised people tend to be more susceptible to group A strep infections, and experts have found that Native Americans are also at higher risk for such infections.

5. Hepatitis A

Roughly 134 people have been affected by a hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen strawberries. As of November, nine states reported infections — Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Wisconsin, Arkansas and California.

Nearly all of those infected reported eating a smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Café locations.

See a similar outbreaks roundup from September.

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