Four more cases of Salmonella, including the first case in West Virginia, have been reported as part of a growing outbreak linked to cantaloupes from a farm in southwestern Indiana.
Missouri has increased its victim count from the 9 it originally reported to 12, reported the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, while West Virginia counted its first case — a 47-year-old man who was hospitalized for 6 days at the end of July.
These new developments bring the total number of cases up from 141 in 20 states, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its initial update, to 145 in 21 states.
Neither CDC nor the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have updated their outbreak reports to reflect these new numbers.
The Missouri Department of Health says it is conducting interviews with victims. So far, at least 3 reported eating cantaloupes before becoming ill.
The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in West Virginia is investigating the illness in that state, which occurred in Kanawha County. The Department warns that other people may still be at risk for infection.
“We want to make sure to put the word out to individuals because there’s still the chance they could still be in trouble,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of K-CHD Monday, according to NY Daily News.
And that advice extends nationwide. Anyone who purchased cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana should discard them and not consume them. Many large retailers have taken cantaloupes grown in this reason off of store shelves.
Health officials are refraining from naming the farm whose cantaloupes have been implicated in this outbreak until they can confirm that the farm is the source.
See Food Safety News‘ coverage of advice from experts on cantaloupe safety for information on how to avoid foodborne illness from cantaloupes in light of both this outbreak and a recent recall of melons from North Carolina due to potential Listeria contamination.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection include fever, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headache and body aches.
If you think you may have contracted a Salmonella infection, contact your healthcare provider.© Food Safety News