CDC furloughed: Salmonella outbreak looming

(WFLX) - A new warning from the Center for Disease Control: Cook your meat properly -- especially chicken. There's a major food borne illness outbreak, and the government's shutdown could be preventing a recall.

Nearly 300 people are reported ill in 18 states including Florida. The culprit: salmonella in raw chicken. The source: Foster Farms plants in California.

"When one of these outbreaks occur, it's almost like a Sherlock Holmes situation," said Dr. Marc Siegel with Fox News. "You need all your best medical detectives at the ready to figure out where this came from and what to do about it."

The world's best detectives at the CDC are not available; they're furloughed by the government shutdown. "The work that's done at the CDC is vitally important -- not just to America, but all over the world," said Georgia Representative Jack Kingston. "So, I think, that we should be able to re-open it, and I'm hopeful we should be able to move legislation from the House to the Senate to do just that."

But Democrats, who issued dire warnings about the effects of what they called a "GOP Shutdown" on the CDC have little appetite for piecemeal re-openings.

Preferring to keep everything closed until Republicans cave which, in the case of the CDC, may be bad medicine.

The CDC can call back some workers in the face of a public health threat which it is doing; however, that's still a long way from the 24/7 response capabilities the nation has come to rely on.

Copyright 2013 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.