The Associated Press reports North Carolina State health officials have confirmed 211 cases so far this year of poisoning from a strain of Salmonella bacteria – more during the first six months of 2005 than for each of the past three years.

At least 30 counties have confirmed cases of salmonella enteritidis poisoning, but state officials said there are probably many more incidents. People who are stricken by the bacteria often battle the infection without consulting a doctor. State officials said they didn’t have a county-by-county breakdown of the cases.