A salmonella outbreak of no known origin has struck nearly two dozen states and hospitalized 31 people, USA Today reports. The CDC said on Friday that 212 cases have emerged in 23 states, with 8 new states listed since Tuesday. While bacterial outbreaks are often linked to a food source, officials haven't yet identified a food, restaurant, or grocery store in this case. Health officials are now talking to those who fell ill in an attempt to trace the sickness. States reporting salmonella cases include California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming, CBS 47 reports. A CDC map shows Utah and Oregon are the hardest hit.
The CDC tells us that salmonella infections usually come with diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever, and last between a few hours and six days after exposure to the bacteria. Children under 5, adults 65 and up, and people with weaker immune systems are more prone to developing severe illness. Officials say the best way to avoid infection is to stay clean (washing hands and surfaces), keep food that needs cooking away from food that doesn't, cook at a temperature that kills germs, and put perishable foods in the fridge within an hour or two. Meanwhile, CNN reports that a Cyclospora outbreak linked to salad mixes has now sickened 641 people in 11 states. (Read more on that here.)