As part of the Salmonella epidemic, more than 30 Norwegians have been ill this month.
According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, FHI reported that 31 people were sick from the Salmonella Agona national outbreak. 13 of them had been admitted.
In November 2022, all patients were diagnosed as having an infection. They range in age from 1 to 84, with a median age of 31 and 18 being women.
Sick people live mainly in Vestland and Viken but also in Telemark og Vestfold, Innlandet, Trøndelag, Troms og Finnmark, Møre og Romsdal, and Oslo.
Rare Salmonella type
FHI, local officials and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) are currently investigating the source.
Salmonella Agona (rare type of Salmonella) is found in Europe and Norway according to Heidi Lange at FHI.
“The number of people admitted to hospital in this outbreak is high, but we have no indication that this Salmonella variant causes more serious illness than other variants. This probably reflects it is the people admitted to hospital who are discovered, and that those with a milder infection do not see a doctor,” she said.
“The people who have been diagnosed with infection live in eight regions. Therefore, it is likely that they have been infected with a food product that is available throughout the country. The interviewees are currently being screened to determine if they have an infection common to all. It is too early to say whether this is a limited outbreak or if it will increase in scope, and whether we will be able to find the source of infection.”
Interviews are done to find out what sick people eat and who they have come into contact with. This can lead to food sampling and/or traceback work.
Although Salmonella Agona was previously detected in Norway, it was not widespread and is often linked to infections elsewhere. Salmonella outbreaks are very rare. The country has a lower incidence of Salmonella than most other countries. Infections and cases are usually related to travel or food imports.
Salmonella bacteria in food does not cause food to look, smell or taste spoilt. Salmonella can cause illness in anyone. According to the CDC infants, children and seniors are at greater risk of serious illness from a Salmonella infection.
Anyone with symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning must seek medical attention. Salmonella bacteria should be reported to doctors by those who are seriously ill. Salmonella infection symptoms may mimic other diseases, which can lead to misdiagnosis.
Salmonella infection symptoms include fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. They can occur within 12 to 72 hours of eating contaminated foods. Normal adult health is good for up to seven days. However, in some cases, severe diarrhea may require hospitalization.
People with compromised immune systems (e.g. cancer patients) are more susceptible to developing severe illnesses and life-threatening conditions. Some people are not symptomatic or get sick when they become infected. They can spread the infection to others.
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