Deadly salmonella outbreak linked to papayas — CDC


In a follow-up on a report Thursday concerning a salmonella investigation in Maryland, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and public health and regulatory officials in several states announced the investigation into a multistate Salmonella Kiambu outbreak likely linked to yellow Maradol papayas.

The infection has, as of now, been reported in 47 people spread across 12 states of the United States of America. The affected people range in age from less than 1 year to 95, and 67 percent are female.

Thirteen people in NY and 12 in New Jersey were infected. Also, as a result of the infection, 450 deaths per year have been reported.

The symptoms of Salmonella include: diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.

Maradol papaya has green skin that turns yellow when the fruit is ripe, and the flesh inside is salmon colored. This can last about four to seven days, and most individuals recover without treatment.

However, in some cases, it can be so severe the patient should be hospitalized. Upon testing by the Maryland Department of Health, one of the samples turned out positive for Salmonella Kiambu strain, while another tested positive for Salmonella Thompson strain.

Roughly 1.2 million cases of salmonella infect people in the USA annually, resulting in 450 deaths, according to the CDC. In the interviews, infected people were questioned about their consumption in the week prior to being ill, and 44 percent of the 25 people interviewed reported eating papayas.

They were able to identify the fruit as the source of the outbreak due to an illness cluster identified in Maryland. Papayas from a store in Maryland tested positive for two strains of Salmonella. No retailers should sell yellow Maradol papayas until officials learn more about where the contaminated papayas came from.

The CDC's warning on the oubreak, posted on its website July 21, advises consumers to throw away all yellow maradol papayas, and if in doubt of the variety, dispose of all papayas.