Outbreaks in Wisconsin

Outbreaks and Investigations

Below is a list of selected outbreaks and investigations with wide impact in Wisconsin.

Salmonellosis Linked to Vegetable Trays
Updated 5/21/19

  • Store bought vegetable trayThe Department of Health Services (DHS), the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Minnesota Department of Health and local health departments are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an ongoing multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis linked to consumption of certain Del Monte vegetable trays.
  • As of May 21, 2019, all ill patients associated with this outbreak, three in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota, have reported eating a Del Monte vegetable tray purchased from a Wisconsin or Minnesota Kwik Trip location before they became ill.
  • The Del Monte vegetable trays associated with the investigation contain broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip. Del Monte vegetable trays may also have been distributed to other retailers in Wisconsin. Investigation for product distribution is ongoing.
  • If you have the following products, do not eat them and throw them away:
    • Del Monte Vegetable Tray (containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip) 6 oz.
    • Del Monte Vegetable Tray (containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip) 12 oz.
  • See the DHS salmonellosis fact sheet for more information on common symptoms and treatment of salmonellosis. If you have eaten a Del Monte Vegetable tray from any retail location and have symptoms of salmonellosis, contact your doctor and local health department.
  • Additional information can be found on the following websites:

Salmonellosis Linked to Cut Melons
Updated 4/15/19

Fresh melon cut up and ready to eat

  • The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are alerting Wisconsin consumers to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Carrau infections linked to eating pre-cut melons sold by Caito Foods LLC.
  • As of April 15, 2019, one case has been reported in Wisconsin, but public health officials continue to monitor for cases.
    • Nationally, 93 people infected with the Salmonella strain have been reported in nine other states.
    • States that have reported illnesses include Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
  • ​On April 12, 2019, Caito Foods LLC recalled pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and pre-cut fruit medley products containing one of these melons supplied at the Caito Foods LLC facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.
    • Do not eat, serve, or sell recalled pre-cut melon and fruit medley products produced by Caito Foods, LLC and sold under several brands and labels.
    • The full list of stores distributing this product is available on the FDA’s website and may expand to include other stores as the investigation continues. ​If you have purchased recalled pre-cut melon from these stores, including fruit salad mixes with pre-cut melon, do not eat it and throw it away.
    • If you do not know whether the melon you purchased was produced by Caito Foods LLC, do not eat it and throw it away.
  • ​Check your fridge and freezer for recalled products and throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund. Follow these steps to clean your fridge if you had any recalled product.
  • Call your doctor if you if you think you got sick from eating the pre-cut melon.
    • Most people who get sick from Salmonella have the following signs and symptoms 12 to 72 hours after eating food with Salmonella in it:
      • Diarrhea
      • Fever
      • Stomach cramps
  • Additional information can be found on the following websites:

Legionnaires’ Disease Associated with Christmas Mountain Village Resort in Wisconsin Dells
Updated 3/20/19

 

  • Closeup of the front of a running shower headThe Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), in collaboration with the Sauk County Health Department, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), is working closely with Christmas Mountain Village on the investigation of three cases of Legionnaires’ disease associated with Christmas Mountain Village Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
  • Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by the bacteria Legionella, which can grow inside building water systems (pipes, hot water heaters, etc.).
    • Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease can include cough, fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, and shortness of breath.
    • Legionnaires’ disease is more common in people aged 50 years and older, those who smoke, and among individuals who are at higher risk of infection, such as those with a chronic illness, respiratory disease, or a weakened immune system.
    • Legionnaires' disease is not normally spread from person to person.
    • People can get Legionnaires’ disease after breathing in small water droplets with Legionella. This CDC infographic outlines how Legionella bacteria is spread from water sources to people.
  • An investigation of the resort’s water system at Christmas Mountain Village Resort is ongoing.
    • Christmas Mountain Village Resort is working with a water management company on testing the resort’s water for Legionella and remediation (removal of Legionella from the water system).
    • The resort is continuing to notify guests at the time of reservation and check-in.
    • Point-of-use filters have been installed on showerheads and faucets in all units of the resort. These point-of-use filters are a recommended risk-reduction measure and will stay in place until testing and completing remediation (removal of Legionella) of all units at the resort is complete.
  • People who are planning to visit Christmas Mountain Village should evaluate their risk of infection or talk to their doctor before their visit and may wish to consider postponing their visit until after remediation is complete.
  • ​DHS and the Sauk County Health Department continue to monitor for new cases potentially associated with the resort. People who become ill with symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease within 14 days of their stay should seek medical attention and mention the information above to their doctor.
  • Additional information can be found on the following websites:

Salmonellosis Linked to Ground Turkey
Updated 3/14/19

  • Raw ground turkey.The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and local health departments are investigating at least four cases of salmonellosis affecting Wisconsin residents with the same strain (DNA fingerprint) of Salmonella.
  • All four of the Wisconsin patients are linked to Butterball raw ground turkey. Testing of leftover raw ground turkey received by the patients was positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella.
  • These items were shipped to institutional and retail locations nationwide. The affected ground turkey product may have been distributed through food pantries.
  • As a result of this outbreak, Butterball is voluntarily recalling 78,164 pounds of raw ground turkey products. A complete list of products included in the recall can be found in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Recall notice. The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-7345” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Advice to consumers:

Follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw poultry products:
  • Wash hands and surfaces often when handling raw poultry.
  • Separate raw meats and poultry from other foods in the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerate or freeze raw poultry promptly after purchasing.
  • Cook all raw poultry to an internal temperature of 165ºF.
  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions provided on product packaging.
  • Place cooked poultry only on a clean dish before serving.
  • Report suspected food poisoning to your local health department.

 

Legionnaires' Disease Associated with the University of Wisconsin (UW) Hospital in Madison
Updated 1/11/19

  • Closeup of the front of a running shower headThe Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Public Health Madison and Dane County, is working closely with UW Health on the investigation of nosocomial Legionnaires’ disease associated with the University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • ​On Nov. 28, 2018, DHS was notified by a UW Health Infection Preventionist of confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease among patients admitted to their hospital since Oct. 31, 2018.
  • As of Jan. 11, 2019, 14 cases of Legionnaires' disease have been identified at University Hospital. Three patients who had been hospitalized for other serious health conditions have died.
  • An environmental investigation at the hospital is ongoing.
  • Legionellosis in an infection caused by Legionella bacteria. There are two different types of legionellosis: Pontiac fever and Legionnaires' disease. Pontiac fever is a mild respiratory illness and Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia.
    • Legionnaires' disease is not normally spread from person to person.
    • This CDC infographic outlines how Legionella bacteria is spread from water sources to people.
  • Additional information can be found on the following websites:

Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Investigation
Updated 11/2/18

  • Cow milking facilityThe Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is working with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to investigate bovine tuberculosis (TB) in a dairy herd located in Dane County. The Wisconsin TB Program is working with Public Health Madison and Dane County to complete a contact investigation on the farm and identify individuals who may need TB testing.
  • Precautions are being taken by DATCP and the farm to ensure the safety of both meat and milk. Consumers and the general public are not at risk of contracting TB infection from this herd. Food safety laws prevent meat from infected animals from entering the food chain and the pasteurization process destroys disease-causing organisms in milk.
  • People are not at risk if they have made only brief visits to the affected farm, have not consumed raw milk, or have not worked closely for extended periods of time with animals. Visiting the farm, living near the farm, or making deliveries to the farm does not pose a risk for becoming infected with bovine TB.
  • Additional information on bovine TB can be found on the following websites:

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) Investigation
Updated 12/6/18

Digital illustration of a neuron

  • The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and local health departments (LHDs) are actively working to identify potential cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). DHS is working with health care providers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during this developing situation.
  • As of Dec. 6, 2018, there have been nine confirmed cases of AFM in Wisconsin.
    • AFM is also called “acute flaccid paralysis with anterior myelitis” or “polio-like syndrome.” It is rare and mainly found in children. It affects the body’s nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. AFM can be caused by some viruses, environmental toxins, and genetic disorders.
    • Viruses that can cause AFM include enteroviruses (polio and non-polio) and flaviviruses, such as West Nile Virus, Japanese Encephalitis virus, or St. Louis encephalitis virus. Other viruses that may cause AFM are herpesviruses (e.g., cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus) and adenoviruses.
  • See the DHS AFM webpage for more information on common symptoms and treatment of AFM. Seek medical care as soon as possible if you notice any symptoms of AFM in you or your child, for example if your child is not using their arm or leg normally.
  • Additional information can be found on the following websites:
    • AFM Fact Sheet, P-01298 (Multiple Languages): Educational fact sheet for the general public on AFM covering signs and symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
    • About AFM: CDC webpage including information on symptoms, diagnosis, possible causes of AFM, treatment, and prevention.

Salmonellosis Linked to Kellogg's Honey Smacks Cereal
Updated 9/5/18

Bowl of dry breakfast cereal

Cyclosporiasis Linked to Salads Sold at McDonald's
Updated 8/3/18

Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Contact with Backyard Poultry
Updated 7/27/18

  • Chickens feeding on the grassThe Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and local health departments are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to contact with backyard poultry.
  • As of July 13, 2018, the CDC reports 212 people infected with an outbreak strain of Salmonella. Children younger than 5 years account for 26% of illnesses.
  • In Wisconsin, 18 laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella have been linked to the national live poultry outbreak.
  • Outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to contact with backyard poultry happen every year in the U.S. Many of these infections are preventable. Please see our Backyard Poultry flyer for more information about how to prevent these infections.

Salmonellosis Linked to Cut Melons
Updated 6/19/18

Fresh melon cut up and ready to eat

  • The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP are alerting Wisconsin consumers to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Adelaide infections linked to the consumption of pre-cut melons. At this time, no cases have been identified in Wisconsin residents, but the recalled products were sold at locations in the state.
  • The FDA has identified Costco stores in the following Wisconsin cities as having distributed the recalled pre-cut melon: Bellevue (Green Bay), Grafton, Grand Chute, Menomonee Falls, Middleton, New Berlin, Pewaukee, Pleasant Prairie, and Sun Prairie.
  • The full list of stores distributing this product is available on the FDA’s website and may expand to include other stores as the investigation continues. Consumers who have purchased recalled pre-cut melon from these stores, including fruit salad mixes with pre-cut melon, should not eat it and throw it away.
  • To date, no cases have been reported in Wisconsin, but public health officials continue to monitor for cases. Nationally, 60 people infected with the Salmonella strain have been reported in other Midwest states. States that have reported illnesses include Illinois (six cases), Indiana (11 cases), Michigan (32 cases), Missouri (10 cases), and Ohio (one case).
  • Additional information can be found on the following websites:

Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2, Spice)
Updated 6/26/18

  • Updated case counts in Wisconsin can be found on our synthetic cannabinoid webpage.
  • The CDC is investigating this outbreak across the nation.
  • Share our one-page fact sheet on synthetic cannabinoids (PDF) . Now available in English and Spanish.
  • If you have purchased any of these products in the past month, do not use it. If you have used any of these products, and start experiencing severe, unexplained bleeding or bruising, please have someone take you to the hospital immediately or call 911. Image of Synthetic Cannabinoids fact sheet "K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Fake Weed, Green Giant"

 

To view previous outbreaks and investigations, please visit our Past Outbreaks in Wisconsin page.

Last Revised: May 22, 2019