March 1998

Media Contacts: Holly Korschun, 404/727-3990 --
Sarah Goodwin, 404/727-3366 -
Bob Harty, Georgia Tech, 404/894-0870

ATLANTA--A year-long surveillance of clinical laboratories in five states, including Georgia, identified Campylobacter as the most common foodborne pathogen, followed by Salmonella. Data on the foodborne infections was collected from five states within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), part of the CDC's Emerging Infections Program. Results of the survey were presented in Atlanta on March 9 at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The survey was conducted in 1996 in Georgia, California, Oregon, Minnesota and Connecticut, in areas with a combined population of 13.2 million. The Georgia component of the study was led by Molly Bardsley, M.P.H., an investigator with the Emory University School of Medicine's component of the Emerging Infections Program.

Researchers found 3,359 cases of Campylobacter, with an incidence that varied from 14/100,000 in Georgia to 58/100,000 in California. Three-hundred-twenty-seven patients were hospitalized and four patients died. Hospitalized patients stayed a median of four days, for a total of 1,506 person-days. Peak incidence of the infection was in June, July and August.

Generalized to the entire U.S. population, the FoodNet data indicates that between 37,000 and 154,000 cases of Campylobacter infections occurred in 1996, with more than 30,000 person-days of hospitalization.


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