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How Common Are Salmonella Infections?
The most common infection caused by Salmonella is salmonellosis (also termed salmonella gastroenteritis). Over 1.4 million cases per year reportedly occur in the U.S. Other countries that are industrialized have similar occurrence rates in their populations. However, many cases go unreported, so some experts suggest that the actual number in the U.S. could be over 20 million cases per year. About 500-1,000 cases per year may result in death. In contrast, developing countries have a much higher rate of salmonellosis, but accurate estimates of its prevalence are lacking. Nonetheless, S. spp are considered by some researchers to cause the majority of food-borne infections in the U.S.
Typhoid fever occurs infrequently in industrialized countries; only about 400 cases per year are reported in the U.S., and the majority (about 75%) of these occur in people returning from a visit to a developing country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 21 million cases occur worldwide per year with about 200,000 deaths. Paratyphoid fever, like typhoid fever, occurs infrequently in industrialized countries. About 100-400 cases per year occur in the U.S., with about 80% originating in people who travel to a developing country. Fortunately, paratyphoid fever is not as severe an infection as typhoid; deaths result in less than 1% of diagnosed patients. Both typhoid and paratyphoid fevers have been termed "enteric fever," but this term is not specific and a few authors use the term for any Salmonella infection.
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