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Dry dog food salmonella outbreak sickened 49, CDC says

An outbreak of salmonella poisoning linked to contaminated dry dog food has sickened 47 people in 20 U.S. states and two people in Canada, government health officials said late Wednesday. 

The outbreak of rare salmonella Infantis that began in early April appears to be over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among 24 patients with available information, 10 were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. 

The illnesses were linked to dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Food Processors at a single production plant in Gaston, S.C. The contamination was detected during routine surveillance by Michigan health officials. 

CDC investigators later took evidence of the rare salmonella Infantis strain -- which is typically reported three or fewer times per month -- and then checked for human cases that matched the genetic fingerprint of the bacteria.

Diamond Pet Foods issued the first of several recalls of pet food on April 6. The recall included Costco Wholesale Corp.'s Kirkland Signature brands of dog and cat food. The pet food was distributed in dozens of U.S. states, mostly in the east and south, several Canadian provinces and Puerto Rico. For details, click here.

Victims could have become ill after handling the contaminated dry food or after contact with animals that had eaten the food. Anyone who became sick after contact with brands produced by Diamond Pet Food should consult a health care provider. Pet owners should wash their hands with soap and warm water after contact with animals or their food. 

Illnesses included one each in Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Texas; two each in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, South Carolina and Virginia; three each in California, Missouri and Ohio and Pennsylvania; four in Illinois and five each in New York and North Carolina. Two people in Canada also became ill.

Consumers should check their homes for recalled pet food and discard them.

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