An increasing proportion of Americans made ill by food-borne pathogens in 2012 suffered from the effects of bacteria often found in uncooked poultry and in seafood from warm coastal waters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.
Among the food-borne illnesses tracked in 10 U.S. monitoring sites, the incidence of illness attributed to the bacterium Campylobacter--most often originating from raw or undercooked poultry and sometimes from raw milk products--rose by 14% in 2012 over levels seen in 2006-2008. Food-borne illnesses linked to Vibrio, though far less common than those linked to pathogens such as Salmonella or E. coli, rose by 43% over 2006-2008 levels, the CDC reported.
For Campylobacter, even that increase represents a decline from rates of food-borne infections linked to the pathogen 15 years ago. But for Vibrio, the increase is part of a steady upward pattern from 1996-98.
The two pathogens tend to strike consumers at different ends of the age spectrum: while Campylobacter sickens consumers of all ages, it appears most likely to sicken and hospitalize those under 5 years of age. The majority of those who took ill after eating food tainted by Vibrio were 65 or older.