Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Cantaloupes Linked to Deadly Salmonella Outbreak, U.S. Says

Two people have died in a salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupes as cases have more than doubled since the outbreak was first announced last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said on Nov. 17 that it was investigating the outbreak. At that point, 43 cases and 17 hospitalizations had been reported in 15 states. As of Friday, federal officials had reported 99 cases in 32 states.

Several fruit producers have issued recalls for a number of cantaloupe and cantaloupe products that were distributed nationwide, the C.D.C. said.

Health officials asked consumers and business to throw away the recalled fruits, which include imported whole cantaloupes grown in Mexico labeled “Rudy” and “Malichita,” pre-cut cantaloupes sold under the “Vinyard,” “Aldi,” “Freshness Guaranteed” and “RaceTrac” brand names.

The C.D.C. posted a full list of the recalled fruits on its website.

As of Friday, at least two people in Minnesota had died and 45 people had been hospitalized. Health officials in Canada were also investigating the outbreak there.

“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses,” the C.D.C. said, adding that it usually takes three to four weeks to determine if a case is part of an outbreak.

Salmonella is a food-borne bacteria that infects people with a potentially fatal disease called salmonellosis.

The bacteria accounts for most the food-borne illnesses reported in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with an estimated 1.35 million people reported sick every year.

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More than 400 people in the United States die from the infection annually.

Symptoms can last for days and include diarrhea, fever and stomach pain. Young children, older adults and people with weakened immune symptoms are especially vulnerable to the disease, which, in serious cases, is treated with antibiotics, according to the C.D.C.

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