(Ottawa) Five people have now died following a salmonellosis outbreak caused by contaminated Malichita and Rudy brand melons, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) announced Thursday.
In its latest update on this outbreak, PHAC said 129 confirmed cases of salmonellosis have now been identified, nearly double the number reported on March 1um December. At this point, only one death had been reported.
The agency did not provide details on the location of the deaths, but noted a sharp increase in cases in Quebec, where the number of infections rose from 35 to 91 in a week.
The remaining cases are in Ontario (17), British Columbia (15), Prince Edward Island (2), New Brunswick (2) and Newfoundland and Labrador (2).
A total of 44 people required hospitalization due to this outbreak. Infected people experienced symptoms between mid-October and mid-November.
“The majority of people sickened are children aged 5 or younger or adults aged 65 and older. Several people say they live in a long-term care facility, a private senior living facility or attend a daycare center,” PHAC said in its update released Thursday.
All Malichita brand melons sold between October 11 and November 14, as well as Rudy brand melons sold between October 10 and November 24, were the subject of a recall by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
“To prevent illness, avoid eating, serving, using, selling or distributing Malichita or Rudy brand melons or other products containing them. If you cannot check the brand of the melon, it is recommended to throw it away,” said the PHAC, which has been releasing regular updates on this outbreak since mid-November.
Salmonellosis, an infection caused primarily by eating food contaminated with salmonella bacteria, can cause symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, headaches and abdominal cramps.
“Most people who get salmonellosis recover fully within a few days without treatment, but some people can develop severe salmonellosis and require hospitalization,” PHAC added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also investigating an outbreak of salmonellosis linked to melons.
Award-winning entrepreneur. Baconaholic. Food advocate. Wannabe beer maven. Twitter ninja.