April 12, 2024

Deadly Salmonella Papaya Outbreak Has Sickened 173 in 21 States

The deadly Salmonella outbreak linked to imported Maradol papayas has  sickened 173 people in 21 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two more states have reported patients: Missouri and Tennessee. There are now four different types of Salmonella: KIambu, Thompson, Agona, and Gaminara.  The same strain of these types were found in samples collected from ill persons and from papayas.

Salmonella Papaya Outbreak 71817

The case count by state is: Connecticut (6), Delaware (4), Iowa (2), Illinois (3), Kentucky (4), Louisiana (1), Maryland (8), Massachusetts (8), Michigan (1), Minnesota (4), Missouri (1), North Carolina (5), New Jersey (36), New York (50), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (4), Pennsylvania (8), Tennessee (1), Texas (9), Virginia (16), Wisconsin (1). Fifty-eight patients have been hospitalized. One death was reported in New York City.

The illness onset dates range from May 17, 2017 to July 31, 2017. The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 95. Among 136 people who provided information to investigators, 58, or 43%, have been hospitalized. This is a hospitalization rate that is about double the typical rate for Salmonella outbreaks, which is 22%.

At this time, Caribeña, Cavi, and Valery brand papayas from Mexico have been identified as produced by the Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico, which has been identified as the likely source of this outbreak. Several brands of papayas have been recalled. The FDA is trying to identify any other brands that may have been produced from this farm.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

Attorney Fred Pritzker said, “this is a large Salmonella outbreak and thousands may be sickened.” Contact him at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

The FDA tested other papayas imported from Mexico and isolated five different types of Salmonella: Agona, Kiambu, Gaminara, Thompson, and Senftenberg. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) testing of the isolates from patients and from papayas collected have matched for four of the strains.

As of August 16, 2017, seven people have been sickened with Salmonella Agona; four people have been infected with Salmonella Gaminara bacteria. Fifty-one people are sick with Salmonella Kiambu infections, and 111 with Salmonella Thompson infections.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and a fever. Most people get sick within a few hours to a few days after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. And most people recover on their own after this illness.

But since Salmonella illnesses are vastly underreported, the multiplier for this type of outbreak is 38. That means there could be more than 6,500 people sick in this particular outbreak.

Maradol papayas are a large, oval fruit that weighs three or more pounds. The fruit has green skin that turns yellow when ripe. The flesh is salmon-colored and has dark seeds.

If you ate this fruit and have been sickened with symptoms similar to the ones described, see your doctor. This infection can be deadly, especially in the very young, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems or chronic illnesses. And a Salmonella infection can have lifelong health consequences, including high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, and reactive arthritis.

The noted law firm Pritzker Hageman helps people who have been sickened by contaminated food protect their rights and get answers and compensation. Our lawyers help patients and families of children in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against growers, schools, retailers, grocery stores, food processors, restaurants, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker won $7.5 million for a young client whose kidneys failed because he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome after an E. coli infection. You should understand that class action lawsuits are usually not appropriate for outbreak victims because each individual case is so different.


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