Update: Saintpaul Salmonella outbreak continues to grow

July 23, 2008

Reports from the FDA and CDC (late May to date) indicate:

  • 167  228 552 613 756 869 922 1017 1090 1148 1167 1196 1220 1237 1256 1330 confirmed cases of Salmonella Saintpaul poisoning from contaminated raw tomatoes, peppers, and/or cilantro.
  • At least 23 25 48 53 69 95 107 111 203 210 220 228 231 257 hospitalizations have been reported.
  • 2 deaths are believed to be associated with the outbreak.
  • 17 23  28 30 34 36 40 41 42 43 states involved.
  • Illnesses began between in April 2008.
  • Patients range in age from 1 to 99 years; 50% are female
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that for every salmonella case reported, 38 are not brought to the attention of physicians.

Only 6 persons infected with this strain of Salmonella Saintpaul were identified in the country during April through June of 2007. The previous rarity of this strain and the distribution of illnesses in all U.S. regions suggest that the implicated food is distributed throughout much of the country. Because many persons with Salmonella illness do not have a stool specimen tested, it is likely that many more illnesses have occurred than those reported.

The accumulated data from all investigations indicate that jalapeño peppers are likely to be a major cause of this outbreak. Fresh serrano peppers and fresh tomatoes remain under investigation.

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