As if 2020 wasn't already throwing everything it had at us, the country is now dealing with a different health crisis. A Canada salmonella outbreak is currently taking place. What makes it worse is that no one knows where it came from yet.

In a July 25 tweet, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) announced that 59 Canadians in five provinces had been diagnosed with salmonella.

The majority of the patients are located in British Columbia and Alberta, which have 23 and 31 cases, respectively.

There have also been three in Manitoba, and one each in Ontario and Prince Edward Island.

The PHAC noted in its tweet that the source of the salmonella was still unknown.

However, a notice on the agency's website indicated that the cases were linked to a similar outbreak taking place in the United States.

"The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) is also investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Newport illnesses that have a similar genetic fingerprint to illnesses reported in this outbreak," the notice says.

It adds that Canadian and American investigators are collaborating on identifying the bacteria's origin.

The PHAC said that people became sick between mid-June and mid-July.

Out of 28 cases that have data available, six people have been hospitalized. There have not been any deaths caused by the illness. 

All of the patients are between the ages of 11 and 77, and the majority of them are female.

The people who are most vulnerable to salmonella are children under the age of five, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.

Much like another illness that is running rampant this year, salmonella does not always cause symptoms, but those who have it can potentially spread it to others.

The PHAC advises Canadians to keep their hands clean (something we're all used to by now) and follow safe food handling and cooking practices.

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