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Mango salmonella outbreak grows; 105 sick in US

An outbreak of salmonella poisoning in mangoes has sickened 105 people from 16 states in the U.S., in addition to at least 22 people who became ill in Canada, government health officials said Wednesday.

Most of the U.S. victims are in California, where 78 people have been confirmed ill with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup since July 1, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Six people became ill in Washington state, according to health officials there. CDC has not yet identified the numbers of victims in remaining states.

So far, patients range in age from 1 to 86, with a median age of 32. Twenty-five victims have been hospitalized, CDC said. Most became ill from July 3 to Aug. 11, 2012, although infections contracted after Aug. 5 might not yet be reported.   

CDC officials said they have not confirmed a specific source or identified the type of mangoes associated with the outbreak. “Therefore, we do not have specific consumer advice at this time regarding eating mangoes,” the agency said.

Once a specific source is identified, CDC said public health officials will offer advice and take steps to prevent illness.

However, CDC officials did confirm that the genetic fingerprint of the salmonella strain was identical to that found in the recalled mangoes that made people sick in Canada, which were identified as Daniella brand mangoes imported from Mexico.

A U.S. importer of those mangoes, Splendid Products of Burlingame, Calif., has voluntarily recalled nationwide shipments of Daniella mangoes with PLUs #4959, 3114, 4051, 4311 or 4584.  Several U.S. grocery stores have pulled the fruit from their shelves, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. They were sold at retail locations across the U.S. from July 12 to Aug. 29.

Officials in Canada and the U.S. are continuing to work with state and local agencies to investigate the outbreak.

Salmonella poisoning can cause mild illness in otherwise healthy people 12 to 72 hours after infection. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. In some people, usually those with weak immune systems, salmonella can cause severe illness requiring hospitalization.

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