Health Officials: Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Papayas Sold In Northeast

Papayas sit on a cart at a public market in Old Havana Cuba

Papayas sit on a cart at a public market in Old Havana Cuba

Twenty-three of the people affected have been hospitalized but there have been no reported deaths.

The cases stretch back as far as January 14 when the first outbreak was reported, however the illness has been reported as recently as June 8.

So far, no deaths are reported.

"Do not eat, serve, or sell whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico or food that contains papaya from Mexico in these states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island", the CDC said in an advisory Friday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also advising importers, suppliers, and distributors, as well as restaurants, retailers and other food service providers across all states to halt sales of whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico.

The CDC urges consumers to 'throw the papayas away, even if some of them were eaten and no one has gotten sick'. The largest numbers of cases is in NY, followed by CT.

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The agency also recommends sanitizing places where papayas were stored, such as countertops and refrigerators. So far, 24 people have been sickened in NY, 14 in CT and 12 in New Jersey.

The CDC discovered that two people in different homes in CT reported being sick after eating papayas from the same grocery store. Most illnesses have occurred since April 2019. "When in doubt, don't eat the papaya".

Those who are infected can develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps between 12 and 72 hours following the initial exposure. "Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body".

One Florida resident who was infected had traveled to CT the week before becoming sick, according to ABC News.

Federal health officials say that children younger than 5-years-old, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

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