103 U.S. Salmonella Cases Linked to Tainted Mangoes

Earlier this week, we wrote that Mexican mangoes were being recalled over concerns that the fruit is contaminated with the dangerous, sometimes fatal, Salmonella pathogen. Now, United States Salmonella cases are being linked to the tainted mangoes, which were first reported in Canada.

The Salmonella outbreak has cut across 16 states, sickening 103 from the U.S. and 22 more in Canada, according to government health officials, said NBC News. Most of the U.S. victims—78 in all—are in California; six more fell ill in Washington State. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the outbreak strain is Salmonella Braenderup. About 36 percent of those who have fallen ill have required hospitalization, said NBCNews.

Patients range from one year of age to age 86; the median age is 32. Illnesses, for the most part, have ranged from July 3 to August 11, 2012; however, infections contracted after August 5 have likely not yet been reported, said NBCNews.

A specific source has not been identified, nor has a specific type of mango been identified in this outbreak, said the CDC. “Therefore, we do not have specific consumer advice at this time regarding eating mangoes,” the agency said, according to NBCNews. The CDC did confirm that the genetic fingerprint of the Salmonella strain involved matched that of a strain found in recalled mangoes that sickened people in Canada. Those mangoes were identified as Daniella brand mangoes, imported from Mexico, said NBCNews. Splendid Products of Burlingame, California is the importer of the Daniella mangoes and just issued a nationwide recall of the involved fruit.

As we wrote, Giant Food, operator of 173 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, issued a recall of the mangoes, noting that the recalled fruit was sold between July 12 and August 24 and bears a price look-up code of PLU 4959. Giant Food advised consumers who have purchased the recalled mangoes to not consume the potentially contaminated fruit.

It can take between six and 72 hours from consumption of a contaminated product for the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning—salmonellosis—to appear. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Additional symptoms include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days. The illness usually lasts four to seven days; however, in some, the organism can invade the bloodstream, becoming so severe that hospitalization is required. Sometimes, infection with the Salmonella pathogen can result in, and produce more severe or chronic illnesses and can leave sufferers with serious life-long health issues.

One of the most common bacterial food borne illnesses, salmonellosis can be especially life threatening to those with weakened immune systems, such as infants; the elderly; and persons with compromised immune systems, such as people with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy.

Allison Moore, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) spokeswoman, said that the investigation into the outbreak continues.

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