CDC warns of antibiotic-resistant salmonella

A strain of salmonella that's killed two and sickened more than 250 people may not respond to the antibiotics recommended to treat it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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From June 2018 to March 2019, the drug-resistant salmonella strain infected 255 people in 35 states, and led to 60 hospitalizations and two deaths, the CDC said Wednesday in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause illness if ingested. Most people who become infected with salmonella are able to recover without treatment, according to the CDC, but some cases can be severe.

The antibiotic-resistant strain was traced to soft cheese obtained in Mexico and beef obtained in the United States.

"We are continuing to see cases occurring among patients," Dr. Ian Plumb, the lead author of the report, told CNN. "The antibiotic resistance pattern of this strain is alarming because the primary oral antibiotics used to treat patients with this type of Salmonella infection may not work."

The CDC describes this strain as "emergent," and said it was first detected in 2016.

"To prevent infection, consumers should avoid eating soft cheese that could be made with unpasteurized milk, and when preparing beef they should use a thermometer to ensure appropriate cooking temperatures are reached: 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62.8 Celsius) for steaks and roasts followed by a 3-minute rest time, and 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71.1 Celsius) for ground beef or hamburgers," the CDC report said.

Avoiding the unnecessary use of antibiotics in cattle can also help prevent the spread of this salmonella strain, according to the CDC.

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