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Food borne bacteria sickens 8 in Illinois, 93 nationwide

Updated: April 5, 2012 9:56AM

Food safety officials are investigating whether raw fish in sushi and other foods is responsible for a multi-state Salmonella outbreak that has sickened eight people in Illinois.

So far, no deaths have been connected to the strain of the bacteria, which has sent 10 people to the hospital and sickened 93 people nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The first cases emerged in late January and have continued through March 23, with those affected ranging in age from 4 to 78.

Eight cases have been reported in both Illinois and neighboring Wisconsin, the CDC website said. Only New York has seen more sickened residents from this outbreak, at 23.

A higher-than-expected percentage of people who became ill reported eating sushi, sashimi or other foods containing raw fish about a week before they got sick, prompting officials to investigate specific types of sushi, according to the website.

However, the Salmonella outbreak has not been conclusively linked to any one food or food source, and the CDC’s investigation continues, the website said.

People infected with Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection, according to the CDC. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days and most persons recover without treatment, but the elderly, infants and people with impaired immune systems are more likely have more severe symptoms.

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