April 17, 2024

Salmonella Uganda Outbreak Linked to Imported Papayas Sickens 62

Update: Cavi brand papayas distributed by Agroson’s LLC of the Bronx are now linked to this outbreak.  A Salmonella Uganda outbreak linked to fresh whole papayas imported from Mexico has sickened at least 62 people in 8 states. Twenty-three people have been hospitalized because they were so sick. No recall has been announced. The papayas were sold in retail stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Salmonella Uganda Outbreak Linked to Imported Papayas Sickens 62

The case count by state is: Connecticut (14), Florida (1), Massachusetts (5), New Jersey (12), New York (24), Pennsylvania (4), Rhode Island (1), and Texas (1). Illness onset dates range from January 14, 019 to June 8, 2019. Most illnesses have occurred since April 2019. The patient age range is from 1 to 86 years. Sixty-six percent of people who have been interviewed by public heath officials have been hospitalized, which is a very high percentage for a Salmonella outbreak.

In a typical Salmonella outbreak, about 20% of patients are hospitalized. This high number may be because the fruit is very contamianted with pathogens, or the strain could be very virulent. Whole genome sequencing of 40 isolates from ill people predict antibiotic resistance to streptomycin and sulfisoxazole. Testing using standard antibiotic susceptibility test methods by the CDC is underway. This resistance will not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people.

Do not eat fruit salads or other mixes that include papayas from Mexico. If you aren’t sure whether or not the papaya you purchased is from Mexico, ask your retailer. If they don’t know, do not eat the fruit.

Epidemiologic evidence and early product distribution information indicates that whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico are the source of this outbreak. Investigators are using the PulseNet system to find people who may be part of this outbreak.

In interviews, of the 21 people who spoke to investigators, 16, or 76%, reported eating papayas the week before they got sick. The FDA and regulatory officials in several states are collecting records to try to find the source of the papayas that ill people ate. The traceback investigation is ongoing.

Names of stores that may have sold the papayas have not been released. For now, the CDC is recommending that consumers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island not eat whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico until we learn more about this outbreak.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include a fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody. If you have eaten papayas recently and have been sick, you may be part of this Salmonella Uganda outbreak; call your doctor.

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