CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate papaya outbreak of Salmonella Uganda infections.
As of June 26, 2019, a total of 62 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Uganda have been reported from 8 states – Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 14, 2019, to June 8, 2019. Most illnesses have occurred since April 2019. Ill people range in age from 1 to 86 years, with a median age of 60. Fifty-three percent of ill people are female. Of 35 people with available information, 23 (66%) have been hospitalized. No deaths attributed too Salmonella have been reported. Of 33 ill people with available information, 22 (67%) reported being of Hispanic ethnicity.
Epidemiologic evidence and early product distribution information indicate that whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico and sold in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, are a likely source of this outbreak.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of 21 people who were interviewed, 16 (76%) reported eating papayas. This proportion was significantly higher than results from a survey pdf icon[PDF – 787 KB] of healthy Hispanic people in the months of January through June in which 13% reported eating papayas in the week before they were interviewed.
Two people who lived in different households got sick in Connecticut after eating papayas purchased from the same grocery store location in the week before becoming ill. This provides additional evidence that papayas are a likely source of this outbreak. One ill person in Florida had traveled to Connecticut in the week before they got sick. Officials are working to gather more information about an ill person in Texas.