by Ben Nuelle
Twenty-one people across eight states including Iowa are now sick with a multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg.
Infections have been linked to contact with dairy bull calves in Wisconsin.
Dr. Megin Nichols is a veterinarian at the Center for Disease Control.
“Most of the cases have been reported from Wisconsin. When we look at our trace back, which is the source of the cattle and where the cattle might have come from, we’re seeing the cattle might have also come from Wisconsin.”
Infected states also include: Minnesota, South Dakota, California, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma and Idaho.
“Calves often move and are sold across state borders. Those people who have had contact with calves in other states have received the calves from livestock markets or other dealers that sold them from Wisconsin.”
Calves often come from an origin and go to a livestock market where they are mixed with other calves.
“That’s one of the things we are definitely concerned about which is the animals health as well and trying to figure out if sick calves are going into the market but are potentially causing other calves and people to become sick.”
Nichols says do not take a Salmonella Heidelberg infection lightly.
“Salmonella Heidelberg is one of the many serotypes of Salmonella bacteria. Like the other serotypes, it can cause diarrhea, fever, and severe abdominal cramping in people. With Salmonella Heidelberg, we often see a higher number of hospitalizations which can indicate more severe illness.”
Nichols says if you become sick after contact with a calf having diarrhea or has died, go to the doctor.