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Deaths due to Unknown Foodborne Agents
  • Published Date:
    Sep 2004
  • Source:
    Emerg Infect Dis. 10(9):1536-1543.
Filetype[PDF-118.88 KB]


Details:
  • Personal Authors:
  • Description:
    This study reviews the available evidence on unknown pathogenic agents transmitted in food and examines the methods that have been used to estimate that such agents cause 3,400 deaths per year in the United States. The estimate of deaths was derived from hospital discharge and death certificate data on deaths attributed to gastroenteritis of unknown cause. Fatal illnesses due to unknown foodborne agents do not always involve gastroenteritis, and gastroenteritis may not be accurately diagnosed or reported on hospital charts or death certificates. The death estimate consequently omitted deaths from unknown foodborne agents that do not cause gastroenteritis and likely overstated the number of deaths from agents that cause gastroenteritis. Although the number of deaths from unknown foodborne agents is uncertain, the possible economic cost of these deaths is so large that increased efforts to identify the causal agents are warranted.

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