16 multistate Salmonella outbreaks linked to microbiology labs

Twenty-four people were infected with Salmonella Typhimurium across 16 states from March 17 to June 22, according to a CDC investigation notice posted Wednesday.

CDC investigators linked the infections to clinical, commercial, college and university microbiology laboratories in the following states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Washington

 The infections have resulted in six hospitalizations and no deaths.

"Ill people in this outbreak reported behaviors while working in the laboratory that could increase the risk of Salmonella infection. These included not wearing gloves or lab coats, not washing hands, and using the same writing utensils and notebooks outside of the laboratory," said the CDC. "All students and staff in clinical and teaching microbiology laboratories should receive laboratory safety training. Either nonpathogenic or attenuated bacterial strains should be used when possible, especially in teaching laboratories."

Most individuals with Salmonella infections develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours and typically recover within a week. Previous outbreaks of Salmonella Typhimurium in 2011 and 2014 were linked to microbiology laboratories.

More articles on infection control: 
Texas health officials warn providers of rise in parasitic infections 
No Zika hotspots identified in Florida this year 
Physicians rarely clean stethoscopes between patients, study finds

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