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California Department of Public Health Announces Salmonella Cases Investigation 

Date: 5/21/2015 
Number: 15-036 
Contact: Anita Gore, Orville Thomas - (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO – California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director Dr. Karen Smith today announced that CDPH is investigating a cluster of Salmonella cases that has so far sickened 31 California residents in six counties.  
The California cluster is part of a multi-state Salmonella Paratyphi B outbreak that is likely linked to consumption of raw tuna commonly used in sushi. As of May 21, 2015, 53 cases have been reported in nine states, including 31 in California.  

“As the investigation continues, this is a good reminder to Californians that there are sometimes risks when eating raw or undercooked meats, fish or poultry,” said Dr. Smith. “This is particularly true for young children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems who may be at an increased risk of severe illness.”

Most of the patients reported eating sushi containing raw tuna. To date, 10 patients have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. The outbreak appears to be ongoing.

The California case-patients reside in six Southern California counties, including Los Angeles (nine), Orange (six), Riverside (four), San Diego (seven), Santa Barbara (one), and Ventura (four). Illness dates have ranged from March 5, 2015 through May 13, 2015. The ages of the patients range from less than one to 83 years.

CDPH, state and local health departments, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are continuing to investigate the source of the outbreak.

CDPH’s Division of Communicable Disease Control will continue to monitor for additional cases with a matching strain, coordinate follow-up of possible cases and review epidemiological data to further evaluate the source of the outbreak. CDPH’s Food and Drug Branch, in coordination with FDA and food safety partners in other state and local health departments are continuing efforts to trace food distributors and sources from sushi restaurants named by case patients.

Salmonella symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. Most patients recover without any treatment, however, some patients may need to be hospitalized because of the severity of the diarrhea. The disease can cause death if not treated promptly.

For more information about Salmonella, visit CDPH’s website.

For information about the FDA investigation visit: http://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/ucm447742.htm
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