A large outbreak of foodborne salmonellosis on the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation, epidemiology and secondary transmission.


Journal Article

In September 1974, the largest outbreak of foodborne salmonellosis ever reported to the Center for Disease Control--affecting an estimated 3,400 persons--occurred on the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation. The responsible agent was Salmonella newport and the vehicle of transmission was potato salad served to an estimated 11,000 persons at a free barbecue. The cooked ingredients of the potato salad had been stored for up to 16 hours at improper holding temperatures. The magnitude of the outbreak allowed us to study secondary transmission by calculating the rates of diarrheal illness during the 2 weeks following the outbreak in persons who did not attend the barbecue and by examining the results of stool cultures obtained after the outbreak. We found no secondary transmission. We conclude that a health official should monitor food preparation and service at large social gatherings and that person-to-person transmission of salmonellosis probably does not normally occur even in settings considered highly conductive to cross-infection.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Horwitz, MA; Pollard, RA; Merson, MH; Martin, SM

Published Date

  • November 1977

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 67 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1071 - 1076

PubMed ID

  • 911019

Pubmed Central ID

  • 911019

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0090-0036

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2105/ajph.67.11.1071


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States