Cantelope-Based Salmonella Investigated by CDC

The Center for Disease Control has been investigating an outbreak strain of Salmonella Panama which has been reported from Oregon, Washington and California to Maryland.

The collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and CDC-led federal public health and regulatory agencies have linked this outbreak to eating cantaloupe. In March, Del Monte Fresh Produce voluntarily recalled cantaloupes, reports say.

Three infected people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. Eleven people ate cantaloupes purchased at eight different locations of a national warehouse club.

The CDC reported that information gathered with patient permission from membership card records helped determine that the ill members purchased cantaloupes sourced from a single farm -- harvested from single farm in Guatemala.

The symptoms of those infected with Salmonella is diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. But in some people, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection.

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