Dozens of people in eight US states were infected with salmonella strains, according to health officials, after eating fresh papayas imported from Mexico.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that 62 people have been infected with the Salmonella Uganda strain, 23 of whom have been admitted to hospital.
The disease occurred between January 14 and June 8, with most appearing since April.
CHILD AT E. COLI FOUND AT THE COUNTY FAIR IN SAN DIEGO, 3 OTHER NURSES: OFFICIALS Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island are a probable cause of this outbreak, "said the CDC.
Although no deaths due to salmonella have been reported, the agency advises consumers in these states not to eat whole fresh papayas from Mexico. Health authorities also advise people not to eat fruit salad or other mixtures containing papaya from Mexico.
"If you are not sure whether the papaya you bought comes from Mexico, you can contact the point of sale," the agency said. "If in doubt, do not eat the papaya, throw it out."
UNDER SALMONELLA OUTBOARD, CDC WARNING: DO NOT KISS CHICKEN OR DO NOT KISS CHICKEN. The Administration also advises importers, suppliers, retailers, restaurants, retailers, and other food service providers in all states to stop selling whole fresh papayas imported from Mexico.
Of the sick, 24 were in New York, 14 in Connecticut and 12 in New Jersey.
Symptoms of Salmonella usually occur 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria, with most people developing diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. The disease usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment.
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"In some people, the disease can be so severe that the patient has to be hospitalized," says the CDC. "Salmonella infection can spread from the gut to the bloodstream and then to other parts of the body."
According to the federal health authorities, children under the age of 5, pregnant women, adults over the age of 65 and those with weakness are affected. The immune system is more likely to be seriously ill.
The CDC estimates that Salmonella in the US causes around 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths each year. Around 1 million of these diseases are due to food, according to the agency.