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The Year’s Most Infectious Illness Outbreaks in America

Food poisoning was the cause of several multistate illness outbreaks that affected thousands of people in the U.S. in 2015. What can you do to check if there has been an outbreak where you’re planning to travel?

An ongoing salmonella outbreak traced to cucumbers in Mexico has, to date, resulted in the illness of more than 838 people in 38 states. 165 people have been hospitalised, four of whom were killed, in what was the biggest multistate food poisoning outbreak in 2015.

Salmonella poisoning was also the cause of four other multistate outbreaks in 2015. Health officials linked a five-state outbreak that made 192 people ill from April to October to pork from Graham, Wash. Another salmonella outbreak that sickened 65 people in 11 states in July was caused by frozen raw tuna used for sushi. The eighth and ninth largest food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S. were due to salmonella, from raw frozen chicken and nut butter spreads.

An investigation into an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in August in New York found it to be caused by cooling towers in the South Bronx. Legionnaires’ disease is a lung infection caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated with Legionella bacteria, which infects your lungs but is not contagious and can’t spread from person to person. Legionnaires’ disease is often caused by plumbing systems in showers, spas, humidifiers, cooling towers or air-conditioning systems. In the UK, the law states that the locations of cooling towers must be registered with an area’s local authority.


Check for Warning Signs Before You Travel

In November 2015 the Food Standards Agency (FSA) revealed that by monitoring Twitter posts, alerts can be raised to illness outbreaks. This news came shortly after the redesign of an online tool released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that can be used to search data on foodborne disease outbreaks. The Foodborne Outbreak Online Database (FOOD) Tool allows users to draw on 20 years of outbreak data including maps, graphs and tables, allowing a more specific search based on foods, ingredients, germs and states. With these updates, users may be aware of multistate illness outbreaks. Read the full blog here.

Whilst you may think that a food poisoning claim has to be brought in the U.S. or through a U.S. Attorney this may not be the case, in many cases we can assist you to pursue your claim when you return to the UK.

See our previous blog, How a Holiday Food Poisoning Claim Works.

If you suffer food poisoning whilst overseas, our No Win, No Fee Solicitors can help you with your claim for compensation.

Call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online. From outside the UK please call +44 20 7657 1555.

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