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Early signs of progress against E. coli and shigella, but listeria, salmonella ...?

Food-borne illnesses are proving to be stubborn -- unsurprisingly so, perhaps -- but that's not to say there aren't some small bright spots in the latest report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2009, the federal government had especially hoped to reduce incidence of four food-borne diseases -- campylobacter, listeria, salmonella and E. coli O157. Of those four, gains were made only against the E. coli strain.

Shigella wasn't on the most-wanted list, but it took a hit too. Hey, a bonus.

The data are preliminary, based on disease surveillance in 10 states (including California), but they do offer a snapshot of where we stand, at least in relation to food-borne threats.

Want some numbers from the report? Here's a taste:

In 2009, a total of 17,468 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection were identified. The number of reported infections and incidence per 100,000 population, by pathogen, were as follows: Salmonella (7,039; 15.19), Campylobacter (6,033; 13.02), Shigella (1,849; 3.99), Cryptosporidium (1,325; 2.86), STEC O157 (459; 0.99), STEC non-O157 (264; 0.57), Vibrio (160; 0.35), Listeria (158; 0.34), Yersinia (150; 0.32), and Cyclospora (31; 0.07).

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