ATLANTA—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released for public viewing four decades of data on the largest foodborne cause of deaths and hospitalizations in the United States: Salmonella.
The online report summarizes surveillance data from 1968 through 2011 on 32 types of Salmonella from animals, humans and other sources.
CDC estimates Salmonella causes more than 1.2 million illnesses each year in the United States, leading to 450 deaths and more than 23,000 hospitalizations. According to CDC, the Salmonella group of bacteria feature more than 2,500 different serotypes, although fewer than 100 cause the majority of infections in humans.
"We hope these data allow researchers and others to assess what has happened and think more about how we can reduce Salmonella infections in the future," said Robert Tauxe, M.D., deputy director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, in a news release. “The more we understand Salmonella, the more we can make progress in fighting this threat all along the farm to table chain."
The report—"An Atlas of Salmonella in the United States, 1968-2011—reveals data based on age, sex, geography and season of the year, and users can view national trends on reported cases of human Salmonella, problems in geographic areas, sources of the pathogen, and the link between animal and human health, CDC said. The atlas also includes reports of Salmonella in animals, animal feeds and the environment.
The data likely does not fully capture incidents of Salmonella in humans because CDC notes many cases are not diagnosed or reported.