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Health News Florida

‘Major Outbreak’ Includes FL

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A salmonella outbreak from undercooked chicken that has affected 18 states including Florida appears to have struck just at the worst time: when most epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control are on furlough.

ABC News is reporting that all but two of the 80 foodborne pathogens staff at CDC were on furlough  until Tuesday;  MedPage Today reported Wednesday that 30 have been called back to duty.

The Florida Department of Health sent a press release out about the salmonella outbreak late Wednesday afternoon. It says DOH has confirmed one case of salmonellosis tied to the suspect chicken and is working with CDC and the Department of Agriculture on the investigation.

The release quoted Dr. Anna Marie Likos, director of the state's Division of Disease Control and Health Protection:“Individuals who have eaten the suspect chicken and experience symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps should seek medical attention. The Department will continue to monitor the situation and inform the public as new information becomes available.”

On Monday, federal authorities said it appeared the source was Foster Farms poultry products, raised and processed in California. That state has had the lion's share of the salmonella cases.

Wired.com reports that the federal government shutdown slowed CDC's response to the outbreak, which appears to be serious; more of the nearly 300 reported cases have had to be hospitalized than is normal, NBC News reports.

The CDC web page on the outbreak offers more details on the epidemiology of the outbreak.