Nation

109 US salmonella cases now linked to papayas from Mexico

DES MOINES — An increasing number of people, including three from Massachusetts, have been sickened by eating papaya now traced to a farm located in southern Mexico, US public health officials said in an update on the outbreak first reported more than two weeks ago.

Salmonella has sickened 109 people in 16 states and 35 were serious enough to be hospitalized, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its webpage dedicated to the outbreak. One person in New York City died.

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Papaya traced to the Carica de Campeche farm in Campeche, Mexico, appears to be the likely source, the FDA said Monday. The farm is located on the Gulf of Mexico side of the Yucatan Peninsula.

The company did not respond to an e-mail and phones went unanswered on Tuesday. A storm warning was posted for the area as Tropical Storm Franklin was making its way across the Yucatan Peninsula.

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Papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm tested positive for five different strains of salmonella bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and fever. Young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are the most likely to have severe infections.

Cases in New York nearly tripled to 36 since the last report on July 21 and New Jersey cases have more than doubled to 26. Virginia has had 11 cases, Pennsylvania seven, and Maryland has had six.

Connecticut and Minnesota each have four cases, and Massachusetts has had three.

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Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oklahoma have reported two cases and Delaware, Louisiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin have had one each.

The FDA said it is working with Mexican food safety authorities to conduct inspections.

The CDC said laboratory evidence using genetic testing has connected some of the illnesses to papaya from the farm.

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