Infections Linked to Yellow Maradol Papayas | July 2017 | Salmonella

Case Count Update

Since the last update on August 18, 2017, 28 more ill people from 12 states were added to this investigation.

As of August 30, 2017, a total of 201 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Thompson (131), Salmonella Kiambu (57), Salmonella Agona (8), or Salmonella Gaminara (5) have been reported from 23 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Case Count Map page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 17, 2017 to August 20, 2017. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 95, with a median age of 37. Some information is not available for all of the ill people. Among 196 ill people, 118 (60%) are female. Among 153 people, 101 (66%) are of Hispanic ethnicity. Among 158 people, 65 (41%) have been hospitalized. One death was reported from New York City.

Illnesses that occurred after August 1, 2017, might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks.

Investigation Update

As a result of this outbreak investigation, FDA has increased testing of papayas from Mexico to see if papayas from other farms are contaminated with Salmonella. Through this increased testing, FDA identified other types of Salmonella not linked to this outbreak on papayas from Caraveo Produce in Tecomán, Mexico and El Zapotanio in La Huerta, Mexico. FDA reports that the shipments of papayas found to be contaminated were destroyed and were not distributed for sale in the United States.  Papayas from these farms were distributed in the United States earlier this year, but FDA reports that no shipments of papayas from either farm are on the market in the United States because they are past their shelf life.

Through a review of the PulseNet database, CDC identified two more outbreaks of people infected with Salmonella with the same DNA fingerprints as the Salmonella found on papayas from these two other farms. Available information indicates that illnesses in these two outbreaks are not linked to papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm and are being investigated separately. Summaries of the two outbreaks are provided below.

Outbreak of Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Infantis Infections

FDA testing identified Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Infantis in an imported papaya sample collected from Caraveo Produce in Tecomán, Mexico. CDC identified three people in the PulseNet database who were infected with the same DNA fingerprint of Salmonella Newport (2 people) or Salmonella Infantis (1 person). The ill people were reported from three states: Illinois, Massachusetts, and Michigan. All three people (100%) reported eating or possibly eating papayas in the week before illness started.

Outbreak of Salmonella Urbana Infections

FDA testing identified Salmonella Urbana in an imported papaya sample collected from El Zapotanio in La Huerta, Mexico. CDC identified six people in the PulseNet database who were infected with the same DNA fingerprint of Salmonella Urbana. The ill people were reported from three states: New Jersey (4), New York (1), and Pennsylvania (1). Of four people with information available, three (75%) reported eating or possibly eating papayas in the week before illness started.

Because three separate outbreaks linked to papayas from different farms have been identified, CDC is concerned that papayas from several other farms in Mexico might be contaminated with Salmonella and have made people sick. FDA continues testing papayas from Mexico to see if other papayas from other farms are contaminated with Salmonella. Investigations are ongoing to determine if additional consumer warnings are needed beyond the advice not to eat papayas from specific farms that is given in this update. Updates will be provided when more information is available.