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Salmonella outbreak in 15 states linked to alfalfa sprouts

Though the health officials have linked the outbreak to alfalfa sprouts served at Jimmy John's, the restaurant claims that the results of the test of sprouts have been negative.

In yet another case of food contamination linked to salmonella outbreak, 89 people have fallen sick in 15 states including Washington, D.C., the Center for Disease and Prevention (CDC) reported Thursday.

According to federal officials, there is a possibility that people have fallen ill after eating the alfalfa sprouts that had strains of salmonella at Jimmy John's restaurants.

So far, 23 percent of the people infected with the bacteria have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

"Preliminary results of this investigation indicate a link to eating alfalfa sprouts at a national sandwich chain," the CDC said in a statement.

Through diagnostic tests, the bacteria has been identified as salmonella serotype I 4,[5],12:i:-.

Sprout test results negative
Though the health officials have linked the outbreak to alfalfa sprouts served at Jimmy John's, the restaurant claims that the results of the test of sprouts have been negative.

But adhering to the CDC's recommendations, the Jimmy John's has pulled the sprouts at its Illinois stores.

Jimmy John Liautaud, founder Jimmy John's said, “We are working closely with the state and they are doing a darn good job in helping find the source. Again, no source has been found yet, this is a precautionary measure.”

Cases reported so far
The first case of salmonella was reported on Nov. 1 and was linked to alfalfa sprouts.

Since then, there has been an increase in the number of cases. So far Illinois has registered highest number of illnesses. The Illinois Department of Health has reported that 50 people have fallen ill.

In Missouri 14 cases have been identified, nine have been confirmed in Indiana, three in Wisconsin, and two in Pennsylvania.

States like Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and the District of Columbia have reported one case.

So far, 23 percent of the people infected with the bacteria have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The people who have fallen ill range from 1 year to 75-years-old. The average age is 28 years.

About the bacterial infection
Salmonellosis is one of the most common food-borne disease, and people infected with the infection develop diarrhea, fever, headache, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.

The symptoms of the infection occur between within 12-72 hours after consuming the infected food, and they usually last for 4 to 7 days.

Though patients recover without nay medical intervention, but some may develop a chronic condition called Reiter’s syndrome.

If not treated properly, salmonella bacteria can spread to from intestine to other organs of the body, sometimes proving fatal.

In United States, approximately 40,000 cases of salmonella are reported each year.