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Wednesday
Dec152010

CDC Report: 48 Million Americans Contract Foodborne Illnesses Annually

Photo Courtesy - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(WASHINGTON) -- Roughly one-out-of-six Americans, or 48 million people, get sick from foodborne illnesses each year, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 48 million people affected, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die.

In the first report issued on the rates of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. since 1999, the CDC notes that although there are 31 known pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses, the majority of cases are caused by unspecified agents.

Furthermore, findings show that 90 percent of known pathogen illnesses are caused by only seven "bugs" -- the most common being the norovirus, which accounts for about 58 percent of annual known pathogen foodborne illnesses.  The other top four are salmonella, C. perfringens, Campylobacter spp., and Staphylococcus aureus, the pathogen responsible for staph infections.

Over the past decade, the rate of foodborne illnesses caused by many known pathogens has decreased by 20 percent, but the CDC emphasizes that there is a need for greater emphasis on prevention.  Reducing foodborne illnesses by just one percent  would keep 500,000 Americans from getting sick each year.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio