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Nearly 1000 Sickened with Salmonella

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With illnesses nearing 1000, federal regulators are desperately seeking the source of a multi-state Salmonella outbreak, and are now testing foods served with tomatoes in salsas and guacamoles. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also announced that the death of a Texas man in his 80′s was associated with this outbreak. Several weeks ago, the CDC said that a Salmonella infection may have also contributed to the death of a cancer patient in that state.

Last month, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers to avoid eating raw red plum, red Roma, or round red tomatoes or any products containing them unless they are known to have come from a geographic area cleared of any connection to the outbreak. But even after the suspect tomatoes were removed from stores and restaurants, hundreds more people became sick.

Now, the agency is testing jalapeno and Serrano peppers, tomatillos, scallions, certain onions and fresh cilantro to see if those items might be tied to the outbreak. The agency has also begun blocking all shipments of jalapeno peppers, Serrano peppers, scallions, and bulb onions from Mexico. The FDA says it will be testing all of these imported products at the border, before they are allowed entry.

Since April, 971 people have reported Salmonella St. Paul infections, and of those, 189 have been hospitalized. According to the CDC (CDC), illnesses have been reported in Alabama (2 persons), Arkansas (10), Arizona (45), California (8), Colorado (12), Connecticut (4), Florida (2), Georgia (24), Idaho (4), Illinois (93), Indiana (14), Iowa (2), Kansas (17), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Maine (1), Maryland (29), Massachusetts (22), Michigan (7), Minnesota (8), Missouri (12), New Hampshire (4), Nevada (11), New Jersey (9), New Mexico (98), New York (28), North Carolina (10), Ohio (7), Oklahoma (23), Oregon (10), Pennsylvania (8), Rhode Island (3), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (8), Texas (381), Utah (2), Virginia (29), Vermont (2), Washington (4), Wisconsin (10), and the District of Columbia (1).

Four illnesses have also been reported in Canada, three of which occurred while the victims were traveling in the US. The fourth illness remains under investigation.

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