This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an update on a Salmonella poona outbreak linked to cucumbers from Mexico.
Last year, multiple states, along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, began investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella poona infections. 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 the outbreak. Two cucumber recalls were issued in September 2015 as a result of the investigation, one by Andrew & Williamson, the other by Custom Produce Sales.
The following are new details, according to the CDC:
- Since the agency’s last update in November 2015, 50 more victims in 16 states have reportedly become ill.
- Two additional deaths have been reported in California. This brings the total death toll to 6. However, according to California health officials, the two additional deaths are not believed to be linked to Salmonella infection.
- New victims have been located in Tennessee, which brings the total number of states affected to 39.
- While the number of reported illnesses has declined since its peak in August and September, it has not returned to what the CDC considers a normal number (about one illness per month during this time of year).
To date, 888 people have been infected with strains of Salmonella poona. The CDC states that 191 people have been hospitalized and six deaths have been reported in Arizona (1), California (3), Oklahoma (1) and Texas (1). Arizona has experience the bulk of reported cases of Salmonella poona--134 according to CDC.
The source of contamination for the cucumbers distributed by Andrew & Williamson has not been identified. The investigation into the source of the most recent illness is still ongoing.
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