Public Health Agency of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Share this page

Epidemiological information: Salmonella illness related to chia seed powder

Updated: August 13, 2014

Related Public Health Notice

What is epidemiology?

Epidemiology is the study of disease in a population. Epidemiologists, or "disease detectives," use surveillance systems to identify those who are sick and confirm that the sick people are part of this event. They then gather information from the people who got sick and review the clues from all parts of the investigation that might reveal the cause of the illness event.

The figure below forms part of the epidemiological investigation into this outbreak. An "epi curve" (Figure 1) is a valuable reference tool in any epidemiological investigation. An epi curve shows when cases begin, when they peak, and when they trail off. Certain details of the people who got sick (Table 1) also help epidemiologists as they work to solve the questions involved in foodborne illness.

For more information on specific cases please contact the appropriate provincial health authority.

Figure 1. Number of people infected with the outbreak strain of S. Newport, S. Hartford, S. Oranienburg or S. Saintpaul*

Figure 1. Number of people infected with the outbreak strain of S. Newport or S. Hartford

Text equivalent for figure 1

Table 1: At a Glance
Outbreak status Ongoing
Case count 63
Provinces/Territories 4
Hospitalizations 12
Deaths 0
Gender (m:f)* 20:43
Age range in years 0-89

* Information available for 63 of 63 cases