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Illnesses linked to eggs will likely grow

Aug 19, 2010 9:24:00 PM - thestate.com
A salmonella outbreak that sickened hundreds and led to the recall of hundreds of millions of eggs from one Iowa firm will likely grow, federal health officials said Thursday.

That's because illnesses occurring after mid-July may not be reported yet, said Dr. Christopher Braden, an epidemiologist with the federal Centers for Disease Control.

Almost 2,000 illnesses from the strain of salmonella linked to the eggs were reported between May and July, about 1,300 more than usual, he said. No deaths have been reported. The CDC is continuing to receive information from state health departments as people report their illnesses.

"I would anticipate that we will be seeing more illnesses reported likely as a result of this outbreak," said Braden. The recall of 380 million eggs from Iowa's Wright County Egg is one of the largest shell egg recalls in recent history.

The outbreak could have been prevented if new rules to ensure egg safety had been in place a few months earlier, an FDA spokeswoman said.