More reports on: Foods / beverages

Salmonella in papaya found in 12 US states; 1 dead, 12 hospitalised

24 July 2017

Forty-seven people in 12 states in the US have been infected with salmonella believed to be linked to yellow Maradol papayas, federal health officials said Friday.

The outbreak has left 12 people hospitalised and one dead, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

''Investigators are working to learn where the contamination occurred in the supply chain,'' the CDC said.

Those infected reported symptoms appearing between 17 May and 28 June. Illnesses reporting after 23 June might not be included, as there could be a delay between when someone becomes sick and when the illness is reported.

Symptoms of salmonella appear 12 to 72 hours after a person is infected and include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramping, which can last for four to seven days. Though most individuals do not need treatment to make a recovery, those who develop severe diarrhea may need to be hospitalised.

The greatest risk from the infection is to the young, or very old or who have compromised immune systems. They may experience complications and severe cases of illness.

Meanwhile, according to the CDC, the salmonella outbreak was linked to Caribena brand yellow Maradol papayas from Mexico that are sold in states including New York, New Jersey, Utah and Kentucky. The papayas were distributed by Grande Produce in San Juan, Texas.

The CDC has not named any other brand in the outbreak.

Officials have called on restaurants and consumers to dump the fruit if they purchased it - irrespective of whether it was a yellow or green papaya.

"When in doubt, don't eat, sell, or serve them and throw them out," the CDC said.

The number of salmonella cases is expected to increase due to the people sickened after 23 June but who did not show symptoms until later.

According to the CDC about 1.2 million people are infected with salmonella in the US each year.

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