Five people have 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, almost double the number reported on December 1st. 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.
Most of those affected are children under the age of 5 or adults aged 65 and over. Many say they live in a nursing facility or a private retirement home or attend a daycare centerthe 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.
Fruit to throw away
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 awayclarified the PHAC, which has been publishing 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 completely within a few days without treatment, but some may 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.
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