Salmonella outbreak linked to raw chicken sickens 92 people in 29 states

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NEW YORK - A drug-resistant salmonella outbreak linked to raw chicken has sickened at least 92 people in 29 states, with multiple cases reported in New York and New Jersey.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 21 people have been hospitalized in the U.S. from the outbreak so far. It says "many types of raw chicken products from a variety of sources" are contaminated with salmonella.

Of the 92 reported cases, 10 were in New York and nine were in New Jersey, according to the CDC's website.

People who became ill have reported eating different types and brands of chicken products. A single supplier of raw chicken products or of live chickens has not been identified. The CDC says the outbreak strain is present in live chickens and many raw chicken products, indicating that it may be "widespread in the chicken industry."

The CDC says antibiotic resistance testing conducted on the salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people shows that the outbreak strain is resistant to multiple antibiotics. It says the outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw chicken pet food, raw chicken products and live chickens.

According to the CDC, most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps within 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness can last four to seven days.

Small children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are at risk of severe illness after exposure to salmonella. In rare cases, a salmonella infection can cause death without antibiotic treatment.

To avoid getting sick, always handle raw chicken carefully and cook it thoroughly. Wash your hands before and after food preparation, and also disinfect kitchen surfaces and equipment. Always make sure chicken is thoroughly cooked before serving or eating it.

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