The CDC said yellow Maradol papayas at the center of a salmonella outbreak weight 3 or more pounds, and have green skins that turn yellow when ripe and salmon-colored flesh. Photo courtesy the CDC
Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Federal health officials linked another 32 cases of salmonella infections to the consumption of yellow Maradol papayas on Friday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a total of 141 people became sick in 19 states after eating the fruit, causing one death and 45 hospitalizations. The infections are linked to Maradol papayas grown at the Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico and sold under the brand names of Caribeña, Cavi and Valery.
Patients reported symptoms beginning between May 17 and July 27.
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.
The majority of the cases happened in New York (39) and New Jersey (27). There were 14 cases in Virginia, eight each in Maryland and Pennsylvania, seven in Texas, six in Massachusetts, five in Connecticut, four each in Delaware, Minnesota, and Oklahoma, three each in Kentucky and North Carolina, and two each in Iowa, Illinois and Louisiana. There was one case each in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
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.