62 infected in U.S. salmonella outbreak linked to papayas
62 people have been infected with salmonella after eating contaminated papayas imported from Mexico.
ATLANTA — More than 60 people have gotten sick in the U.S. this year after eating salmonella-contaminated papayas.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that 62 people in eight states have become infected with the uganda serotype of the salmonella bacteria. 23 of those who got sick were hospitalized.
The outbreak has been linked to the consumption of fresh papayas imported from Mexico.
According to the Mayo Clinic, salmonella bacteria typically live in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals, and are shed through feces. Humans become infected mostly through contaminated water or food.
The CDC reports that symptoms typically show 12 to 72 hours after infection, and may include abdominal cramps, high fever, and diarrhea.
It usually lasts from 4 to 7 days, with patients recovering without treatment. But complications arise when the infection leaves the intestinal tract and enters the bloodstream.
The Mayo Clinic reports that in such cases, it can infect tissues in the body, including those surrounding the brain and spinal cord, the lining of the heart, valves, or blood vessels, and bones or bone marrow.
According to the CDC, an estimated 450 people in the U.S. die from acute salmonellosis each year.
The elderly, children younger than five, and those with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to severe infections.
Methods to prevent the spread of salmonella include hand washing after using the toilet, changing diapers, or handling raw meat.
Raw meat, poultry, and seafood should also be kept separate from cooked food, fruits, and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination.
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