The previously reported cases were in Brunswick, Caldwell, Catawba and Robeson counties. The Catawba County resident died in November. However, no other deaths have been reported.
Schriber says laboratory results are usually received after the patients have already recovered.
Nationally, the illnesses reported began between Aug. 31, 2008 and Jan. 9, 2009. The symptoms of Salmonella infection usually begin within 3 days of exposure to the bacteria and generally last less than a week.
Federal, state and local officials are still continuing to investigate the source of the outbreak.
The N.C. Department of Health believes case numbers across the nation and in North Carolina will likely increase as the investigation continues.
- CDC and FDA recommendations for consumers:
- Do not eat products that have been recalled and throw them away in a manner that prevents others from eating them. These products include Austin and Keebler brand peanut butter crackers and King Nut brand peanut butter produced since July 1, 2008. FDA's Web site has recalled lot numbers.
- Postpone eating other peanut butter containing products (such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream) until more information becomes available about which brands may be affected.
- Use FDA's online database to check if foods you're concerned about are on the recall list.
- Call the consumer hotline phone number that may be on any product packaging you have to get information directly from the product manufacturer.
- Persons who think they may have become ill from eating peanut butter are advised to consult their health care providers.