Shades for All Year Long

In a follow-up on a report Thursday concerning a salmonella investigation in Maryland, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and public health and regulatory officials in several states announced the investigation into a multistate Salmonella Kiambu outbreak likely linked to yellow Maradol papayas.

Yellow Maradol Papaya Image/CDC
Yellow Maradol Papaya

As of Friday, 47 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Kiambu have been reported from 12 states (In addition to Maryland, cases have been reported in Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Virginia). Twelve people required hospitalization for their illness and one person in New York City died.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence collected to date indicate that yellow Maradol papayas are a likely source of this multistate outbreak. This investigation is ongoing.

Maradol papayas are a large, oval fruit that weighs 3 or more pounds, with green skins that turn yellow when the fruit is ripe. The flesh inside the fruit is salmon-colored.

Based on the available evidence, CDC recommends that consumers not eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell yellow Maradol papayas until more is learned. CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview them. Further investigation is under way to determine the point in the supply chain where the papayas were contaminated.

Salmonella bacteria can cause diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and fever. Symptoms usually occur between 12 and 36 hours after exposure, but they may begin as early as 6 hours or as late as 72 hours after exposure. Symptoms can be mild or severe and commonly last for two to seven days. Anyone suspecting they are ill with a Salmonella infection should contact their healthcare provider. Salmonella can infect anyone – but young children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems are the most likely to have severe infections.