Salmonella Spreads in U.S. And Tomatoes Are Implicated

Armen Hareyan's picture

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has just issued a statement about the ongoing outbreak of Salmonella St. Paul.


"An epidemiologic investigation conducted by the New Mexico and Texas Departments of Health and the Indian Health Service using interviews comparing foods eaten by ill and well persons has identified consumption of raw tomatoes as the likely source of the illnesses in New Mexico and Texas. The specific type and source of tomatoes are under investigation; however, preliminary data suggest that large tomatoes, including Roma and red round are the source.

Since late April, 40 persons infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in Texas (21 persons) and New Mexico (19 persons). The New Mexico Department of Health is investigating 17 additional Salmonella Saintpaul illnesses. These were identified because clinical laboratories in all states send Salmonella strains from ill persons to their State public health laboratory for characterization. Among the 38 persons who have been interviewed, illnesses began between April 23 and May 27, 2008. Patients range in age from 3 to 82 years; 48% are female. At least 17 persons were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported."

Advice to consumers. In New Mexico and Texas, until the source of the implicated tomatoes is determined,

  • persons with increased risk of severe infection, including infants, elderly persons, and those with

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