CDC: Campylobacter, Vibrio rise, other pathogens static

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Although incidents of Campylobacter and Vibrio rose in 2012, infection rates for other pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella remained about the same.

In fact, Campylobacter rates in 2012 were the highest they’ve been since 2000 and are up 14 percent in 2012 from 2006-2008, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), which compared infection levels in 2012 against those in 2006-2008.

Campylobacter is one the most common causes of gastrointestinal illness in the U.S and affects about 1.3 million people annually, the CDC estimates. Often, people do not seek treat for campylobacteriosis, making it difficult to pin down actual numbers. Symptoms include cramps, diarrhea, fever and nausea, according to the CDC.

Incidents of Campylobacter infection have decreased from 1996-2001 as meat and poultry producers have implemented pathogen reduction and hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) plans, CDC notes.

Vibrio infections rose about 43 percent in 2012, but overall the infection rate for this pathogen remains low. However, the CDC estimates that for each Vibrio parahaemolyticus case reported, about 142 remain undiagnosed. Vibrio most commonly is associated with oysters.

However, overall infection with the six main foodborne pathogens (Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, Vibrio and Yersinia) decreased 22 percent in 2012 from 1996-1998 but remained about the same from 2006-2008. FoodNet – a collaboration between the CDC, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and 10 state health departments – identified 19,531 lab-confirmed infections in 2012, with Salmonella accounting for the most infections, followed by Campylobacter. FoodNet also identified 4,563 hospitalizations and 68 deaths from foodborne pathogens.

Check out the CDC’s Food Safety Progress Report for 2012 here.

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