CDC: Salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut melons

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Photo from NBC New York Photo from NBC New York

ILLINOIS (WAND) – A new salmonella outbreak is linked to pre-cut melons sold at Illinois Walmart stores.

The Centers for Disease Control say a total of 60 cases are now reported in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. Pre-cut melons and fruit salads are seen as the likely source.

“The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging people not to eat pre-cut melon purchased from any Walmart store in Illinois, or any of the other affected states, at this time,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “If you have recently purchased pre-cut melon from Walmart, throw it out.  If you have recently eaten pre-cut melon from a Walmart store and experience diarrhea, fever, and cramps, contact your health care provider.”

The CDC says Walmart has already removed linked pre-cut melons from shelves. Other recalls may be coming as the U.S. Drug and Food Administration learns more. Other grocery stores could be added to the list.

In Illinois, cases are happening in people between the ages of 23 and 87 across the state. 

Salmonella symptoms tend to include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after someone eats the contaminated food. Some people could end up with severe diarrhea that requires a hospital trip. Most people are able to fully recover in 4 to 7 days.

The CDC says this particular salmonella outbreak could mean more hospitalized people than usual. The elderly, infants and people with compromised immune systems have the highest risk for serious illness.

People are also asked to be careful when handling whole melons. They should wash their hands and all knives and cutting boards used. Fruit should not touch raw meat.

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