The outbreak, which has doubled since the CDC's initial report on November 17, has now infected an additional 56 individuals, bringing the total count to 99 across 32 states.
The CDC also reported that the number of hospitalizations has increased, with an additional 28 people admitted since the November 17 update, raising the total to 45. Furthermore, the state of Minnesota has reported two fatalities linked to the outbreak.
In a parallel development, the Public Health Agency of Canada, an official arm of the Canadian government, has confirmed that the same Salmonella outbreak has resulted in one death and an additional 63 laboratory-confirmed cases in Canada. The country has also witnessed 17 hospitalizations due to the outbreak.
The CDC has indicated that the source of this sudden international outbreak is likely linked to cantaloupes. This conclusion is based on "interviews with sick people and laboratory findings." The revelation has led to a recall of various cantaloupe brands, as noted by the CDC in a separate release.
The Canadian government has specifically identified the "Malichita" and "Rudy" cantaloupes as the probable source of the outbreak. These cantaloupes, originating from Mexico, have raised concerns about the lack of oversight on imported produce.
Dr. Marc Siegel, a clinical professor of medicine, expressed his dismay over the situation to Fox News. "The cantaloupes come from Mexico, and the bacteria could be from food handlers or animal or irrigation contamination," Siegel stated. He further emphasized that this outbreak and recall serve as a "further wake-up call that produce grown in a place where the U.S. has little to no control can be packaged and sold in many states, endangering many people."
The CDC has outlined the most common symptoms of a Salmonella infection, which include diarrhea (potentially bloody), fever, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, or a headache. Symptoms typically manifest within a week of infection, if not sooner, and can last from four days up to a week.