(HealthDay)—Because of antibiotic resistance, 42 percent of patients stricken with Salmonella tied to a California chicken farm have required hospitalization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday.
The outbreak's investigation, which has been hampered by the U.S. government shutdown, got a boost Wednesday with the announcement that 30 furloughed CDC employees were being called back to work. So far, 278 people from 17 states have been reported ill from chickens traced to three Foster Farms plants in California. About 42 percent of the 183 patients for whom information is available have been hospitalized—76 in all—which is an unusually high rate for Salmonella Heidelberg, CDC spokesman John O'Connor told HealthDay.
"The typical hospitalization rate for salmonellosis is around 20 percent," he noted. "Antibiotic resistance, as seen in this outbreak, may be associated with an increased risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals."
The CDC and state health departments continue to track infections, O'Connor said, "but like most federal agencies, CDC has furloughed a substantial portion of its workforce because of a lapse of appropriations. We are doing the best we can under these difficult circumstances to monitor clusters of foodborne illness and respond when necessary."