Salmonella Outbreak Raises a Red Flag

'We're lucky,' but drug-resistant bacteria lie in wait, experts warn
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jan 28, 2009 2:00 PM CST

(Newser) – The ongoing salmonella outbreak has sickened hundreds of people and played a part in eight deaths, and that's the good news, experts tell MSNBC. The strain in question responds to the standard treatment, but other varieties of the salmonella bacteria have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics in recent decades."This is kind of an alert," says one doctor. "We're lucky this time."

Nearly 400 products have been recalled, any one of which might have contained drug-resistant salmonella—but fortunately, the major culprit of the four strains implicated so far responds well to antibiotics. Next time, the victims might not be so lucky, which could mean big trouble for elderly, very young, and immuno-compromised patients. "There would be many more deaths than what we’re seeing," says a CDC rep.