Salmonella infections in the southern lowlands

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Increased salmonella infection in Göttingen

The number of Salmonella infections is increasing in southeastern Lower Saxony. "Since April 2012, there have been more cases of salmonella disease compared to previous years, with a focus on the Eichsfeld region," according to the Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Consumer Protection and Regional Development.

Almost 50 people have been infected with Salmonella in the Göttingen district and neighboring districts, according to the ministry. The infection is caused by so-called Salmonella Panama bacteria. The authorities suspect that the illnesses “are related to the consumption of meat or raw sausage - for example, tea sausage or so-called crackers.” The health authorities and food surveillance authorities are currently investigating together to identify the source of the infection.

Almost 50 reported Salmonella infections After a significant increase in Salmonella infections in April compared to the previous year, the number of diseases declined for the time being in May, but skyrocketed again in June. By the beginning of July, a total of 31 Salmonella infections had been reported in the district of Göttingen, and the authorities had registered 15 cases in the surrounding counties. Salmonella infections have also increased in the Thuringian part of the Eichsfeld region. Infected people in the district of Göttingen are currently "standardized by the Lower Saxony State Health Office (NLGA) to systematize further information on possible sources and chains of infection," according to the Lower Saxony Ministry of Consumer Protection. First results of the survey indicate that a large number of those affected ate raw meat or raw sausage during the infection period.

Salmonella infections may require hospitalization. According to the ministry, salmonella can “grow relatively easily, especially in minced meat.” In humans, salmonella infection (including salmonellosis) causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Accompanying high fever is a sign of a more severe course of the disease, which can lead to considerable complications due to the massive loss of fluid and drastic weight loss. In such cases, hospitalization is usually required. "The best protection against contamination is the complete heating of meat or meat", but also "compliance with general hygiene rules in the private household when handling raw meat or meat" makes a significant contribution to infection protection at this point, according to the Lower Saxony Ministry of Consumer Protection. Until the source of the infection is identified, residents of the Eichsfeld region and the surrounding area should urgently follow the instructions of the ministry.

Raw meat unsuitable for children, pregnant women and immunocompromised people In general, eating raw meat is unsuitable for immunocompromised people and children due to possible contamination with pathogens. In this context, the ministry also refers to the press release of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) "Hackepeter and Mett are not for young children" from March 2012. According to the BfR, "raw meat can include Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli including EHEC, Yersinia, Listeria, but also viruses and parasites. "Therefore," particularly sensitive groups, such as small children, pregnant women, seniors or people with weakened immune systems, should generally not consume these foods raw, "warned the BfR in mid-March The Lower Saxony Ministry of Consumer Protection also follows the recommendation. (Fp)

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