Hundreds of Americans have likely become ill from tainted eggs, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell said Thursday.
The Food and Drug Administration, which investigates food contamination, said the CDC received reports of approximately 200 salmonella cases every week during late June and early July. Normally, the CDC has received an average of some 50 reports of salmonella illness each week for the past five years. Many states have also reported increases of this pattern since May 2010, the FDA said.
A total of 380 million eggs have been recalled since last week because of concerns they may be tainted with the potentially deadly salmonella bacteria, the Egg Safety Center said.
Salmonella, which is generally contracted from contaminated poultry, meat, eggs, or water, impacts the intestinal tract.
Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, which typically begin within 12 to 72 hours, according to the CDC. Vomiting, chills, headache and muscle pains may also occur, according to the Mayo Clinic. These symptoms last about four to seven days, and then go away without specific treatment in healthy people. Antidiarrheal medications may help with cramps, but they may also prolong the diarrhea, the Mayo Clinic said.