January 28, 2023

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Preben Aavitsland

National outbreak of salmonella – 31 confirmed infections – NRK Westland

– This is a very large explosion compared to the ones we usually have. Salmonella infections do not occur very often to us, says Preben Avistland, special director of FHI to NRK.

Living in Westland (11), Viken (8), Telemark and Vestfold (5), Inlandet (2), Trondheim (2), Troms and Finnmark (1), Møre and Romsdal (1) and Oslo (1).

13 of those infected have been hospitalized with salmonellosis. Typical symptoms are diarrhea, headache, abdominal pain, nausea and possibly fever.

– The fact that they were admitted due to such an illness indicates that they had a lot of diarrhea and needed fluid therapy. That’s not unusual, Aavitsland says.

The youngest victim is 1 year old. The oldest is 84 years old. The average age of the victims was 31 years.

– High number of hospitalizations

The outbreak involved the bacterium Salmonella acona, a rare strain of Salmonella.

The source of the infection is currently unknown. Salmonella bacteria are mainly transmitted through food.

Together with local municipal chief medical officers, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Veterinary Institute, FHI is now trying to identify the source of the outbreak.

Since those diagnosed with the bacteria live in eight counties, FHI believes it is a nationwide foodborne illness.

— There were some cases when the eruption was discovered. Aavitsland says this may indicate a more common product.

– The number of hospitalizations in this outbreak is high, but there is no indication that this Salmonella variant causes more severe disease than other Salmonella strains, says Heidi Lange, a senior adviser at the Institute of Public Health.

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All were infected in November.

– Aavitsland says there may be a few more people with this diarrheal disease who may not be sick enough to require medical attention, so stool samples are not taken.

They didn’t think the outbreak would grow any bigger.

– We are not afraid of a very big explosion. Now many people are trying to figure it out. I don’t think it will take long to figure out what food it is. If this food product is not already sold for natural reasons, we will discontinue it.

The chief infectious disease doctor in Bergen, Marit Woltersvik, tells NRK that they have most of the cases in Westland.

– Some of them have been in the hospital, says Wolterswick.

– What do you do to find out what happened?

– The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has an interview section. He says there’s a lot of detective work with large patterns to map what people ate and so on.