Typhoid Mary and salmonella outbreaks: two very different stories, right?
Well, maybe not so much. As it happens, salmonella exists in many different forms in many different species and one of those is Salmonella Typhi. The CDC says the United States sees about 400 cases of Typhoid Fever a year, mostly from people who have traveled abroad.
What most salmonella outbreaks refer to is a slightly different version of Salmonella that results in salmonellosis. This is the classic – if unpleasant – disease that causes diarrhea, cramping and fevers. And its common enough and mild enough to not always be reported, though the CDC estimates about 400,000 cases annually. Mild as it is, the more common salmonellosis can cause hospitalization as well, particularly for the especially young or old. Hospitalization usually occurs when the salmonella bacteria make their way to the blood stream.
In both cases, salmonella is transferred to food by people already sick with the illness. So, wash your hands and wash your veggies before you use them!