More than 150 people became ill and hospitalized more than 30 countries in an outbreak of salmonellosis in the Netherlands, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) said Wednesday.
Since the beginning of August until 20 October, 152 new cases were reported of an antibiotic resistant strain of salmonella bacteria, and between five and 10 new cases are reported each week, compared to normal two figures, the institute said.
The cases are spread throughout the country, not travel related cases have been reported. The source of infection has not yet been determined but it might be pork products, the institute said.
According to the RIVM, strain, phagetype Salmonella typhimurium DT104, is resistant to a range of antibiotics.
There were two outbreaks of Salmonella Typhimurium in the Netherlands so far this year, said the RIVM.
A nationwide outbreak in March, in which 27 cases were reported, was probably associated with cream cheese for a specific brand, while the other regional outbreak in June was related to a local butcher and led to 18 cases were reported.
Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.
The disease usually lasts several days and most people recover without treatment. However, for the elderly, infants and people with impaired immune systems, infection can cause severe illness and even death.