Sept. 14 (UPI) — Federal health officials reported several more cases of salmonella infections among four separate outbreaks linked to the consumption of yellow Maradol papayas.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a total of 235 people were sick in at least two dozens states after eating the fruit, causing two deaths.
The CDC has expanded its investigation to various different strains of salmonella in papayas sold by four farms in Mexico.
The largest includes papayas grown at the Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico and sold under the brand names of Caribeña, Cavi and Valery. Among the 210 sickened by papayas from this farm, one died and 67 were hospitalized across 24 states.
Papayas sold by El Zapotanito farm in Mexico sickened seven people in three states, resulting in four hospitalizations.
Papayas sold by the Rancho El Ganadero farm and distributed by Caraveo Produce in Mexico sickened four people in four states, resulting in two hospitalizations.
Papayas imported from Mexico by Bravo Produce Inc. of San Ysidro, Calif., sickened 14 people in three states, resulting in one death and five hospitalizations.
Patients reported symptoms beginning in May.
The source of the contamination is unclear.
“Investigators are working to learn where the contamination occurred in the supply chain,” the CDC said.
The agency said that if consumers aren’t sure if their papaya is a yellow Maradol papaya, ask the proprietor who sold it to them. If in doubt, throw it out.
Yellow Maradol papayas are a large, oval fruit that weighs 3 more pounds. They have green skins that turn yellow when the fruit is ripe. The flesh of the fruit is salmon colored.
Those sickened ranged in age from 1 to 95.
The symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts four to seven days and sometimes requires hospitalization.
Children under the age of 5, adults older than 65 and people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to severe cases of salmonella.