Salmonella Found In US
From ricfinke
BOSTON (AP) -- Hundreds of thousands of Americans may get sick each year with salmonella poisoning caused by a strain of the germ that is resistant to five antibiotics.
This strain has been a problem in Europe, particularly Britain, for several years. But until recently it was rare in the United States. It is suspected of causing even more severe illness than ordinary salmonella.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 68,000 and 340,000 cases of infection with this germ now occur annually in the United States. The estimate is rough because most food poisoning cases caused by salmonella never get reported.
The CDC estimates that between 800,000 and 4 million people in all get sick with salmonella each year, and 500 people die.
The highly resistant bug is impervious to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulfonamides and tetracycline.
Most salmonella cases do not need to be treated with antibiotics. However, severe infections may require antibiotics, and can still be controlled with ciprofloxacin or ceftriaxone, at least for now. In Britain, salmonella immune to the five other drugs is also becoming resistant to ciprofloxacin.
Dr. M. Kathleen Glynn and others who described the emergence of the drug-resistant salmonella emphasized the need to use antibiotics prudently, especially on farms, where much bacterial resistance to drugs is thought to have developed.
The CDC report, published in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, was based on an analysis of data collected by local and state health departments since 1979.
In an editorial, Dr. Stuart B. Levy of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston noted that nearly half of the 50 million pounds of antibiotics produced in the United States annually is used in animals. Most of this is intended to make animals grow faster rather than to prevent or treat diseases.
Experts believe that wide use of antibiotics promotes the evolution of bugs that carry genes that allow them to withstand the medicines.

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