Deadly Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Cantaloupe

DETROIT (WWJ) – Health officials say two people have died and 141 people across the U.S., including six in Michigan, have been sickened by Salmonella from cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said 31 have been hospitalized in this outbreak that has hit 20 states. The FDA said ill persons range in age from less than one to 92 years, with a median age of 49-years-old. Fifty-five percent of ill persons are female.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified a farm in southwestern Indiana as the likely source of outbreak and are now working to contact distributors to withdraw remaining cantaloupe from the market.

Consumers who recently purchased cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana are advised not to eat them and discard any remaining cantaloupe.

Based on the available information, consumers can continue to purchase and eat cantaloupes that did not originate in southwestern Indiana.

Many cantaloupes have the growing area identified with a sticker on the fruit. If no sticker is present, consumers should inquire about the source. When in doubt, throw it out.

Consumers who are buying or  have recently bought cantaloupe should ask their retailer if the cantaloupe was  grown in southwestern Indiana.

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis.

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

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