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A Salmonella outbreak has spread to Connecticut and five other states

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HARTFORD — A Salmonella outbreak linked to papaya has spread to Connecticut along with five other states.

The CDC has been conducting its initial investigation of the outbreak since late May.  As of Saturday, there have been a reported 109 cases of people becoming ill nationwide. Out of those 109 cases, thirty-five people have been hospitalized while one person has died.  In Connecticut, four cases have been reported.

Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin have now also reported cases of ill people, rounding the total number of states affected to sixteen . The outbreak investigation has expanded to include another strain of Salmonella.

The Center for the Disease Control and Prevention has issued a recall and are asking people not to eat, serve, or sell papayas. Laboratory tests showed that the strain of Salmonella Thompson isolated from papayas collected in Maryland is closely related genetically to clinical isolates from ill people. The FDA tested other papayas imported from Mexico and found they were contaminated with several types of Salmonella.

On June 30, health officials investigated a New Haven restaurant for a Salmonella outbreak, but it is unclear if this two incidents are connected.

Salmonella bacteria are one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States.  Symptoms typically last for four to seven days, and most people get better without treatment.  However, Salmonella can cause more serious illness in certain groups of people, including the elderly, infants and persons with chronic diseases or compromised immune systems.

Salmonella bacteria spread through contaminated food or water.  An individual who is sickened with Salmonella can contaminate food and water, spreading the bacteria to others.  People who are infected with Salmonella should not prepare food or drinks for others until their symptoms have ended.  Restaurant workers and other food handlers who are infected with Salmonella should not return to work until cleared by public health officials.

Information on preventing Salmonella infections can be found here.