Cantaloupes contaminated with Salmonella bacteria have now caused six deaths in Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) announced in its weekly update on Friday.
According to the latest data, six Canadians have died from salmonellosis and 53 have required hospitalization.
A total of 153 infections were confirmed in the laboratory. Two thirds (103) come from Quebec, the remainder are spread across all other provinces except Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Health authorities have been interested in melons for a month and a half, following an initial recall of Malichita brand melons on the 1stum last November. Rudy brand melons were then added to the recalls.
Canada is not alone with the melon problem. In the United States, more than 300 cases have been reported in 42 states, resulting in 129 hospitalizations and four deaths, according to data updated Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The vast majority of patients are children aged 5 years and younger (35%) or people aged 65 years and older (44%). Along with immunocompromised people and pregnant women, these are the two age groups most likely to have complications from a salmonellosis infection.
In most people, salmonellosis causes symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Keep in mind that it is impossible to identify foods contaminated with salmonella bacteria because they do not emit a suspicious odor and have no visible changes.
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