The latest update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that, as of Nov. 18, 2015, 838 people from 38 states have reportedly been infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona linked to cucumbers imported from Mexico. That is an increase of 71 cases since the last update on Oct. 14, CDC stated. Of the total, 165 people have been hospitalized and four deaths have been reported (one each from Arizona, California, Oklahoma and Texas).
- Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations identified cucumbers imported from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce as a likely source of the infections in this outbreak.
- Two recalls of cucumbers that may be contaminated with Salmonella were announced as a result of this investigation: Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce and Custom Produce Sales.
- The number of reported illnesses has declined substantially since the peak of illnesses in August and September; however, it has not returned to the number of reported illnesses that CDC would expect to see (about five every month). The investigation into the source of these recent illnesses is ongoing.
- While investigators work to learn more about the source of the recently reported illnesses, CDC stated that consumers, retailers, and restaurants can do the following:
- Consumers who purchased recalled cucumbers should wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where cucumbers were stored.
- Restaurants and retailers that received recalled cucumbers should wash and sanitize any crates or other containers where the cucumbers were held or sold.
- Although it is unlikely that recalled cucumbers are still in homes or available in restaurants or grocery stores, they should not be eaten, served, or sold, the agency stated. If you aren’t sure if your cucumbers were recalled, ask the place of purchase or your supplier. When in doubt, don’t eat, sell, or serve them and throw them out.
Since the last CDC update on Oct. 14, 2015, 71 more ill people have been reported from 23 states. Illnesses that occurred after Oct. 21, 2015, might not be reported yet. A series of events occurs between the time a person is infected and the time public health officials can determine that the person is part of an outbreak. This means that there will be a delay between when a person gets sick and confirmation that he or she is part of an outbreak. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Alaska (17), Arizona (129), Arkansas (13), California (232), Colorado (19), Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Hawaii (1), Idaho (24), Illinois (9), Indiana (5), Iowa (7), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (5), Maryland (1), Minnesota (40), Missouri (14), Montana (16), Nebraska (8), Nevada (16), New Hampshire (1), New Mexico (32), New York (6), North Dakota (8), Ohio (3), Oklahoma (13), Oregon (22), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (10), South Dakota (3), Texas (42), Utah (58), Virginia (1), Washington (25), Wisconsin (43), and Wyoming (7). Among people for whom information is available, illnesses started on dates ranging from July 3, 2015, to Nov. 1, 2015. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 99 years, with a median age of 18 years. Fifty percent of ill people are children younger than 18 years. Fifty-seven percent of ill people are female. This investigation is ongoing. CDC noted that updates will be provided when more information is available.
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