New York Papaya Salmonella Outbreak: At least 29 New Yorkers Sickened
The New York Papaya Salmonella Outbreak is now outpacing other states in terms of the number of salmonella illnesses linked to Salmonella Uganda. In this national outbreak, at least 81 victims have been confirmed, that is as of September 12. Texas, Rhode Island and Delaware have only one confirmed case each, but New Jersey is right behind New York with 22 confirmed cases, and Connecticut has reported 15 Salmonella Uganda cases. Massachusetts has reported 6 Salmonella Uganda cases, Pennsylvania 4 Salmonella Uganda cases, and Florida a pair of Salmonella Uganda cases.
New York is the center of the outbreak of Salmonella Uganda for obvious reasons – according to the FDA, an epidemiological and trace-back investigation definitively linked the Cavi brand whole papayas to Agroson’s LLC of Bronx, New York, the sole (exclusive) distributor of the imported fruit that is at the center of the outbreak.
The Salmonella Uganda victims are all believed to have consumed Cavi brand whole papayas (74% of those for whom their responses are known have confirmed eating papayas)* imported from Mexico, a product and nation that have been prominent in news stories over the last few years for foodborne communicable diseases.
The victims were all sickened in 2019, with the earliest symptomatic on January 14, 2019 and the latest confirmed case sickened on or about July 16, 2019. Enough time has elapsed since that last case to give health department personnel some confidence to suggest the outbreak is now over. The victims (81 confirmed so far) were just over half women (54%), with one an infant less than 12 months old, and the oldest having turned 90 prior to eating the Cavi papayas from Mexico. The average age of the 81 Cavi Salmonella victims is 62.
One particularly dangerous element of this outbreak, says National Salmonella Lawyer Ron Simon, “is that 53% of the victims, for whom the information is available, were hospitalized.” That is an elevated rate of hospitalization for a salmonella outbreak.
*Only 13 % of healthy Hispanic person reported eating papayas in the week before being interviewed in a survey conducted in the first half of 2019.