Officials with the Swedish Public Health Agency, or Folkhalsomyndigheten are reporting two situations of increased numbers of salmonella infections.
Since October 2017, officials report (computer translated) 63 cases of Salmonella Kentucky infection. The majority of cases are found in Västra Götaland (37), but also Uppsala (9), Skåne (3), Stockholm (7), Kronoberg (4) and Värmland (3). Two isolates differ slightly from the others and are therefore reported as Subspecies I (8.20), but sequencing has shown that these also belong to the outbreak.
In all cases the patients lived in elderly homes or have been taken care of at various hospitals during the incubation period.
The investigation continues as officials try to identify a possible common source of infection.
Salmonella in cats
Earlier this month, the Swedish Veterinary Medicine Agency (SVA) reported (computer translated) more than 1,000 salmonella cases in cats since the beginning of the year. Never before, even in a whole year, so many cats have been found to have salmonella in Sweden.
In addition, cases are also being reported in small birds. The strain(s) were not noted.
Now Folkhalsomyndigheten reports (computer translated) approximately ten people may have been infected with salmonella after contact with small birds or sick cats. The majority of the cases are reported in preschool age children. For some cases, there is also a confirmed connection to a cat with salmonella infection.
The cases have been reported from Kalmar, Stockholm, Värmland, Västra Götaland, Örebro and Östergötland County.
Public health officials remind the public that since salmonella can be contracted by people from small birds and cats, hand hygiene is important. Wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning the litter boxes and after contact with the bird table, and as always before handling food. Gloves protect from handling dead or sick birds. Also pay attention to the symptoms of family cats. Children, especially young children, should not come into contact with a cat who is ill.
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