May 26, 2024

New York Hard Hit by Deadly Papaya Salmonella Outbreak

The deadly multistate Salmonella Kiambu outbreak linked to imported papayas has sickened at least 13 people in New York State. And the death in this outbreak occurred in New York City.

Maradol papayas

That outbreak has sickened at least 47 people in 12 states. The case count by state is: Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (5), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (12), New York (13), Pennsylvania (4), Texas (1), Utah (1), and Virginia (6) as of July 27, 2017. Twelve people have been. hospitalized in this outbreak.

The outbreak first came to attention in Maryland. An illness cluster was identified there. Interviews with patients revealed that they ate Caribeña brand Maradol papayas purchased from the same grocery store. Salmonella Kiambu and Salmonella Thompson bacteria were isolated from patients. The Maryland Department of Health then collected papayas from that grocery store. They isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Kiambu. Another sample yielded Salmonella Thompson, but officials aren’t yet sure whether or not people sickened with that strain of Salmonella are part of this outbreak.

Grande Produce, the company that distributes the papayas in question, issued a limited recall of Caribeña brand Maradol papayas on July 26, 2017. They are recalling fruits sold between July 10 and July 19, 2017. But since some of the patients live in states where that company does not sell papayas, the CDC and FDA are telling consumers to avoid eating any Maradol papayas from Mexico until the investigation is completed.

People started getting sick on May 17, 2017. The illnesses recorded so far by the CDC started on dates ranging from that day to June 28, 2017. Officials expect that the outbreak case count numbers will grow, since it takes a few weeks between when someone gets sick, they see their doctor, they are diagnosed, and the illness is reported to public health officials.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and a fever. People start feeling ill within six to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food or water. While most people recover without medical treatment, some patients develop sepsis, an infection of the bloodstream, or have such serious diarrhea that they need to be hospitalized.

Most cases of Salmonella are not reported to public health officials. Health departments use what is called a “multiplier” to try to estimate the actual size of an outbreak. The multiplier for Salmonella outbreaks is 30.3. That means that as many as 1,424 people could be sick in this outbreak.

If you have eaten papayas, especially Maradol papayas imported from Mexico, and have been experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor. Salmonella infections can have lifelong consequences, including reactive arthritis, high blood pressure, and irritable bowel syndrome. Your doctor should know about this illness so he or she can monitor your health.

Pritzker Hageman law firm is a national company that helps those sickened by contaminated food get answers, compensation, and justice. Our attorneys represent patients and families  in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against grocery stores, daycare centers, food producers and processors, restaurants, and retailers. Attorney Fred Pritzker and his team recently won $7.5 million for a young client whose kidneys failed after he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome after he contracted an E. coli infection. You should know that class action lawsuits may not be appropriate for outbreak victims because each case is unique.

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