CDC is reporting 26 new illnesses in the salmonella outbreak stemming from
cantaloupe grown by Chamberlain Farms in Indiana.
Public health officials have used DNA testing to match the DNA fingerprint
of the salmonella bacteria collected from an Indiana grower, Chamberlain
Farms, to the type of salmonella strain that sickened more than 200 people.
CDC’s salmonella outbreak in cantaloupes information page, the window of illness onset has expanded slightly. July
7, 2012, remains the first date of onset, but CDC is expecting that new
cases may be reported as late as August 18, 2012. In its Epi curve graphing
section, CDC has opened a window through 8/18, saying that illnesses occurring
between 7/26/12 through August 18, 2012 may not have been reported, since
the reporting process takes an average of 2 to 3 weeks.
Interestingly, even as more data trickles in, it continues to be the case
that 59% of the victims are female. However, it certainly is no surprise
that the age range of the victims has not expanded, since the illness
already had affected people ranging from under the age of 1 to 100.
Another 16 people have been hospitalized since the last report, meaning
that a total of 78 people have been hospitalized from the salmonella poisoning.
So far, CDC is reporting that 204 people have been infected in 22 states:
Alabama (13), Arkansas (5), California (2), Florida (1), Georgia (4),
Illinois (24), Indiana (22), Iowa (8), Kentucky (63), Massachusetts (2),
Michigan (6), Minnesota (5), Mississippi (5), Missouri (13), New Jersey
(2), North Carolina (5), Ohio (5), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3),
Tennessee (8), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (4). With the exception of California,
CDC’s Chamberlain Farms salmonella outbreak case map shows that the outbreak has clustered in the eastern half of the country,
although – except for Massachusetts — it has not seemed to
reach the extreme northeast of the country.
CDC is warning consumers not to eat cantaloupes coming from Chamberlain
Farms. While many of the cantaloupes will be marked with a sticker, CDC
says: “If no sticker is present, consumers should inquire about
the source. When in doubt, throw it out.”
For those of you who have been following my bacterial illness and salmonella
lawyer blog updates, as of August 23, 2012, CDC was reporting that 21
states had reported victims. CDC is now reported a 22nd state, Florida,
has a victim as well.
CDC reported in its last update that 2 people have died as a result of
salmonellosis from the cantaloupe, but fortunately it did not add any
reports of additional deaths in its August 30, 2012 update.
CDC is telling consumers that “based on the available information”,
consumers can continue to buy and eat cantaloupes from farms other than
Chamberlain Farms. Hopefully public health officials will conclude that
the outbreak is confined to the cantaloupe coming from that one farm.
Chamberlain Farms is a 500-acre farm located in Owensville, Indiana, not
far from Evansville, Indiana. Chamberlain Farms employs 20 people. It
has recalled any cantaloupes grown on the farm.