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Multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to imported Maradol papayas – United States, December 2016–September 2017

  • R. Hassan (a1) (a2), B. Whitney (a3), D. L. Williams (a4), K. Holloman (a5), D. Grady (a6), D. Thomas (a7), E. Omoregie (a8), K. Lamba (a9), M. Leeper (a1), L. Gieraltowski (a1) and the Outbreak Investigation Team (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4) (a5) (a6) (a7) (a8) (a9)...

Abstract

Foodborne salmonellosis causes approximately 1 million illnesses annually in the United States. In the summer of 2017, we investigated four multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections associated with Maradol papayas imported from four Mexican farms. PulseNet initially identified a cluster of Salmonella Kiambu infections in June 2017, and early interviews identified papayas as an exposure of interest. Investigators from Maryland, Virginia and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) collected papayas for testing. Several strains of Salmonella were isolated from papayas sourced from Mexican Farm A, including Salmonella Agona, Gaminara, Kiambu, Thompson and Senftenberg. Traceback from two points of service associated with illness sub-clusters in two states identified Farm A as a common source of papayas, and three voluntary recalls of Farm A papayas were issued. FDA sampling isolated four additional Salmonella strains from papayas sourced from Mexican Farms B, C and D. In total, four outbreaks were identified, resulting in 244 cases with illness onset dates from 20 December 2016 to 20 September 2017. The sampling of papayas and the collaborative work of investigative partners were instrumental in identifying the source of these outbreaks and preventing additional illnesses. Evaluating epidemiological, laboratory and traceback evidence together during investigations is critical to solving and stopping outbreaks.

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Copyright

This is a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Rashida Hassan, E-mail: ykm6@cdc.gov

Footnotes

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*

Outbreak Investigation Team: K. Crocker1, J. Blankenship2, E. Pereira2, T. Blessington2, L. Turner3, L. Mingle4, T. Fulton5, L. Li6, N. Dowell7,8, D. Wagner7,9, T. Griswold7, Y. J. Joung7, C. Schwensohn7 and M. Wise7

1

Maryland Department of Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States; 2United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), College Park, Maryland, United States; 3 zVirginia Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, Richmond, Virginia, United States; 4Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York, United States; 5New Jersey Department of Health, Trenton, New Jersey, United States; 6New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City, New York, United States; 7Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, United States; 8Eagle Medical Services, Huntsville, Alabama, United States and 9IHRC, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

Footnotes

References

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