The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is telling people to discard a specific brand of cantaloupes after it was linked to an ongoing salmonella outbreak.
So far there have been eight confirmed cases of a rare strain of salmonella in B.C. since mid-November, according to a BCCDC public health notice Wednesday (Nov. 15).
The infections have been linked to the imported Malichita brand cantaloupe, which the public health notice urges people to discard. If people have bought pre-cut cantaloupes and are unsure of their origin, they should be thrown out as a precaution.
Cases have been reported in people up to age 68 in the Vancouver Coastal, Fraser and Island health regions. The symptoms, which are typical of a salmonella infection, include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes fever, nausea and vomiting.
BCCDC says a public health investigation of the genetic sequencing of the salmonella bacteria show a link between some of the B.C. cases and the salmonella found in the recalled cantaloupes. On Nov. 14, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency updates a recall notice sent out Nov. 1 to now include B.C.
Most illnesses to date were caused by the Salmonella soahanina bacteria, which shows a link between some of the B.C. cases and the strain of salmonella found in the recalled cantaloupes, as well as a cluster of cases in the U.S.
The BCCDC says it is working with the regional health authorities, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to investigate the outbreak.
The notice adds that most people with salmonella will recover on their own within seven days, and will not need antibiotics.
If people suspect they have a foodborne illness, they can consult HealthLinkBC or call 811 for more information.
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