Mostly children infected from Salmonella in Argentinian province

Children younger than 10 years old account for half of the Salmonella infections registered so far this year in an Argentinian province, according to health officials.

The Ministry of Public Health in Salta, Argentina, reported 653 cases of Salmonella were laboratory confirmed in the province. Overall, there have been 813 suspected cases.

Children younger than 10 years old made up 331 cases while there were 121 infections in the 10 to 14 year old age group. Only six patients were above the age of 65.

In the initial months of 2021, there was a spike in the number of patients followed by a few months of isolated infections. Since August until mid-October, 153 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported.

Two-thirds of the confirmed cases live in the department called Capital while almost a quarter come from Rosario de Lerma, Cerrillos, La Caldera, Chicoana and Cafayate.

A team was created this year to help with the surveillance of foodborne diseases. It includes local officials and the National Service of Agrifood Health and Quality (SENASA) with the aim to come up with preventive measures and investigate cases.

Public health officials in Salta recorded almost 700 confirmed Salmonella infections in 2020. The Ministry of Public Health said there were 881 suspected cases throughout the year. The age range mostly affected was between 5 and 9 years old, then children from 0 to 4 years old and 10 to 14 year olds in third.

Virtual beef audit
Meanwhile, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspectors have verified the quality and safety of Argentina’s control system for beef exported to the United States.

Carlos Paz, SENASA president, and his team held virtual meetings for five weeks with representatives from the United States.

A final report has yet to be published by FSIS but Argentinian officials said auditors had no observations to make and highlighted improvements from 2019.

Argentina has 22 beef establishments that export their products to the United States. During 2020, three new sites were permitted to export beef and two were relisted, while this year, two new plants were allowed and one more relisted.

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