Salmonella outbreak connected to Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas

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(Photo: CDC)

(CDC.gov)- CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)external icon are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Uganda infections.

As of July 3, 2019, a total of 71 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Uganda have been reported from 8 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each is on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 14, 2019, to June 16, 2019. Most illnesses have occurred since April 2019. Ill people range in age from less than one year to 90 years, with a median age of 60. Fifty-two percent of ill people are female. Of 45 people with available information, 27 (60%) have been hospitalized. No deaths attributed to Salmonella have been reported. Of 40 ill people with available information, 28 (70%) reported being of Hispanic ethnicity.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Whole genome sequencing analysis of 43 isolates from ill people predicted antibiotic resistance to streptomycin and sulfisoxazole. Testing of three clinical isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing methods by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) is currently underway. This resistance will not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people.

Investigation of the Outbreak

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico are a likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of 26 people who were interviewed, 20 (77%) reported eating papayas. This proportion was significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy Hispanic people in the months of January through June in which 13% reported eating papayas in the week before they were interviewed.

The FDA and regulatory officials in several states collected records from grocery stores where ill people reported buying papayas. These records showed that Cavi brand papayas were sold at multiple grocery stores where ill people bought papayas. Cavi brand papayas distributed by Agroson’s LLC of Bronx, New York, would have been available for purchase by cases in the time prior to illness at these stores.

Consumers should not eat Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico. This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

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