The North Carolina Laboratory of Public Health has detected nearly five times as many cases of the food-borne illness Salmonella enteritidis so far this year compared to the first six months in 2004, indicating a troubling rise in S. enteritidis cases statewide.

Surrounding states are experiencing similar increases in Salmonella enteritidis. North Carolina’s divisions of Public Health and Environmental Health are working with other agencies here and in those states, as well as with the CDC, to halt the rapid increase of S. enteritidis. No common source has yet been identified for the North Carolina outbreak, so health officials are continuing their investigation.

However, recent outbreaks of the illness in nearby states have largely been associated with eggs, as have several of North Carolina’s previous outbreaks. Beef, poultry, and unpasteurized milk have also been associated with outbreaks of this type of Salmonella.