Occupational Distribution of Campylobacteriosis and Salmonellosis Cases — Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia, 2014
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Occupational Distribution of Campylobacteriosis and Salmonellosis Cases — Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia, 2014

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    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
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    Campylobacter and Salmonella are leading causes of bacterial gastroenteritis in the United States and are estimated to cause >1 million episodes of domestically acquired illness annually (1). Campylobacter and Salmonella are primarily transmitted through contaminated food, but animal-to-human and human-to-human Transmission can also occur (2,3). Although occupationally acquired infections have been reported, occupational risk factors have rarely been studied. In 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identified 63 suspected or confirmed cases of Campylobacter infection over 3.5 years at a poultry-processing plant (Kathleen Fagan, OSHA, personal communication, December 2015); most involved new workers handling chickens in the "live hang" area where bacterial contamination is likely to be the highest. These findings were similar to those of a previous study of Campylobacter infections among workers at another poultry-processing plant (4). The investigation led to discussions among OSHA, state health departments, and CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); and a Surveillance study was initiated to further explore the disease incidence in poultry-processing plant workers and identify any additional occupations at increased risk for common enteric infections. Deidentified reports of campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis among Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia residents aged ≥16 years were obtained and reviewed. Each employed patient was classified into one of 23 major occupational groups using the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system.* Risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between each occupational group and each disease were calculated to identify occupations potentially at increased risk, contrasting each group with all other occupations. In 2014, a total of 2,977 campylobacteriosis and 2,259 salmonellosis cases were reported. Among the 1,772 (60%) campylobacteriosis and 1,516 (67%) salmonellosis cases in patients for whom occupational information was available, 1,064 (60%) and 847 (56%), respectively, were employed. Persons in farming, fishing, and forestry as well as health care and technical occupations were at significantly increased risk for both campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis compared with all other occupations. Targeting education and Prevention strategies could help reduce disease, and improving the systematic collection of occupational information in disease Surveillance systems could provide a better understanding of the extent of occupationally acquired Diseases.
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