Melons infected with salmonella bacteria, which have been warned about for weeks, have caused one death and sickened 63 Canadians, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) announced late Friday evening.
• Also read: Now 26 Canadians have been sickened by melons
• Also read: Melons sold in Quebec that can cause salmonellosis
• Also read: Recall of Malichita brand melons due to salmonella bacteria
The story of melons potentially causing salmonellosis became increasingly murky as the evening wore on, recalls became more numerous and the number of patients increased.
The PHAC announced that there are now 63 laboratory-confirmed cases of salmonellosis in the country, more than half of which (35) occurred in Quebec. British Columbia and Ontario each had 12 cases, while the latest occurred in the Atlantic provinces.
Eating melons led to 17 people being hospitalized, including one who died. The place of residence of the person who died of salmonellosis was not specified.
As of Wednesday, PHAC counted just 26 people sick with salmonellosis and just six hospitalizations.
New brand of melon to throw away
The announcement came just hours after a second melon variety was listed as being scrapped due to the risks involved.
After Canadians were warned to remove Malichita brand melons from their possession, they must now throw away their Rudy brand melons if they do not want to contract the disease, the Canadian Inspection Agency (CFIA) said.
“If you can’t check the brand of the melon […]it is recommended to throw it away,” the PHAC said.
Unlike Malichita melons, Rudy melons were still available for sale across the country on Friday. All melons from this brand sold in Canada between Oct. 10 and today are potentially dangerous, said the CFIA, which recommends throwing them away before washing your hands and disinfecting the surfaces they came into contact with.
Not just in Canada
Canadians aren’t the only ones who should be wary of their melons.
On the United States side, 99 people have fallen ill so far, including 45 who ended up in hospital. Two patients have died from the disease, which has affected 32 states, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which updated its data on Friday.
Keep in mind that it is impossible to identify foods contaminated with salmonella bacteria because they do not emit a suspicious odor and show no visible decay.
In most people, salmonellosis causes symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
However, salmonellosis can cause serious complications, especially in children under 5, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.
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