The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Drug-Resistant Salmonella Linked to Overuse of Antibiotics in Cattle Farming
The strain sickened 255 people in 32 states between June 2018 and March 2019, leading to 60 hospitalizations and two deaths, the agency wrote in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. And the strain is still making people sick, lead report author and CDC epidemiologist Dr. Ian Plumb told CNN.
"We are continuing to see cases occurring among patients," Plumb told CNN in an email. "The antibiotic resistance pattern of this strain is alarming because the primary oral antibiotics used to treat patients with this type of salmonella infection may not work."
Plumb told HealthDay Reporter that the two patients who died had other illnesses as well, but that the drug-resistant salmonella did contribute to their deaths.
The strain has shown decreased susceptibility to azithromycin and does not respond at all to ciprofloxacin, the report said. Both are commonly used to treat the disease, and, before 2017, fewer than 0.5 percent of salmonella strains found in U.S. patients were resistant to azithromycin.
The outbreak has been linked to the consumption of U.S. beef and Mexican soft cheese, leading investigators to believe the strain is present in cows in both countries, CNN reported.
"The resistant strains developed in animals, and those strains can then be transmitted to humans," Plumb told HealthDay Reporter.
Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at the New York University Langone Medical Center who was not involved with the study, told HealthDay Reporter that the best way to prevent drug-resistant infections like this is to change farming practices.
"Salmonella is a very common bacteria in livestock, and the problem is that we're overusing antibiotics to try to control this problem," Siegel said. He said that farmers also gave antibiotics to cattle to increase their size.
He said that better human treatments were not the solution, since most of the time the infection needs no treatment at all.
"It's really a change in farming practices that are needed—to stop giving these animals antibiotics," he said.
The CDC also stated that avoiding giving cattle unnecessary antibiotics, especially those also used to treat humans, would help prevent the spread of drug-resistant salmonella.
In the meantime, the CDC recommended that people protect themselves by avoiding soft cheese made with unpasteurized milk and using thermometers to make sure beef is cooked to the proper temperature: 145 degrees Fahrenheit for steaks and roasts and 160 degrees Fahrenheit for ground beef.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis
Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.
Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.
The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.
By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.
By Mark Hertsgaard
The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."