CDC Warns of Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Papayas

A man sells papayas at the "Central de Abasto" wholesale market in Mexico City on December 21, 2017. Some 500,000 people and 62,000 vehicles a day visit the Central de Abasto market on the east side of Mexico City to buy and sell avocados, tomatoes and about 15,000 other products. …
PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a warning after 60 people became sick with salmonella linked to papayas.

The agency advised residents in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island to avoid eating the Mexican delicacy.

“Throw the papayas away, even if some of them were eaten and no one has gotten sick,” the official statement reads.

They wrote:

Do not eat fruit salads or other mixes that include papayas from Mexico. If you aren’t sure the papaya you bought is from Mexico, you can ask the place of purchase. When in doubt, don’t eat the papaya. Throw it out. Wash and sanitize places where papayas were stored: countertops and refrigerator drawers or shelves.

Individuals who became sick reportedly did so between January 14 and June 8, the majority of which occurring since April. However, no deaths have been reported since the warning was issued.

Those infected with the sickness experience symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after eating foods contaminated with salmonella.

“The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment,” WebMD states.

Twenty-three of the 62 people infected in the states listed have been hospitalized due to the illness. Of the individuals who contracted the sickness, 24 are residents of New York, 14 are in Connecticut, and 12 live in New Jersey.

The CDC provided additional information in their statement released Friday:

Two people who lived in different households got sick in Connecticut after eating papayas purchased from the same grocery store location in the week before becoming ill. This provides additional evidence that papayas are a likely source of this outbreak. One ill person in Florida had traveled to Connecticut in the week before they got sick. Officials are working to gather more information about an ill person in Texas.

Officials said the investigation is ongoing and added updates will be provided accordingly as new information emerges.

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