Public Health England (PHE) announced today it is investigating a national outbreak of a type of Salmonella Enteritidis which has affected 156 people. In addition to the cases in England, dozens of cases have also been seen in Austria and France.
To date, 55 cases have seen in Hampshire, 25 in London, 33 in Cheshire and Merseyside, and 43 in the West Midlands. Some of the cases have been linked to restaurants and others to the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital outbreak.
In England, the cases occurred as isolated clusters over several months and have been managed locally, but are now being reassessed as potentially linked under a national investigation.
Dr Paul Cleary, a consultant epidemiologist leading the PHE investigation, said:
We are working with our colleagues across PHE, the Food Standards Agency, in local authorities and with other public health organisations in Europe to investigate the cause of this outbreak.
We are making good progress and hope to have more conclusive evidence shortly. We will continue to monitor the situation and if there is any further public health action necessary then we will ensure that this takes place.
Testing using genetic typing methods has revealed that all of the cases are infected with closely related strains, indicating that the cause of the illness is from a single source. Some food and environmental samples from catering outlets have tested positive for Salmonella with the same genetic profile as seen in the outbreak cases.
Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
In rare circumstances, infection with salmonella can result in the organism entering the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page