State health officials told the Associated Press that they have reported 24 cases of salmonellosis in Western Pennsylvania since Friday and say the number of cases will likely grow in coming days.
The officials won’t know until tomorrow, however, whether the infections were the same or different types — and therefore, whether the recent cases are just a statistical oddity or possibly part of a widespread outbreak.
Because the onset is rapid, those cases reported since Friday likely involve people who have eaten contaminated foods or otherwise come in contact with the bacteria in the last week.
Each year, about 2,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported statewide. Nationally, there are 40,000 cases reported, including about 600 deaths. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the actual total number of cases may be 30 times as high, however, because milder cases may not be diagnosed.