21 sickened in multistate drug-resistant Salmonella outbreak

Twenty-one people in eight states have contracted a multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg infections, and the CDC has linked the outbreak to contact with male dairy calves.

People in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Idaho and California have fallen ill with the Salmonella strain. The outbreak began Jan. 11. So far, eight people have been hospitalized.

All of the isolates collected during this outbreak are closely related genetically and showed resistance to multiple antibiotics.

The outbreak originated from livestock in Wisconsin, according to the CDC. The dairy bull calves believed to be the outbreak's origin are young male cows that are not castrated and could be raised for meat. Some of the dairy bull calves were bought for use during 4-H projects.

Symptoms of Salmonella Heidelberg infections include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most patients recover without treatment, but some require hospitalization. Rarely, the infection can cause death.

To prevent infections, the CDC recommends thoroughly washing hands with soap and water after interacting with livestock, using dedicated clothing when working with livestock and working with veterinarians to keep animals healthy.

More articles on infections:
Researchers detect Zika-related microcephaly in infants months after birth
New strain of strep bacteria causes nearly 30 hospitalizations, 3 deaths in Alaska
Infectious disease death trends in the US: 8 key points

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