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Salmonella outbreak from cut cantalouone melon causes eight deaths in US and Canada

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A salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut cantaloupe melon has resulted in the deaths of eight people in the US and Canada. 

In the US, at least 96 people have required hospital treatment, with three fatalities reported.

Health officials have reported at least 230 cases of salmonella in 38 states. The contaminated cantaloupe was also distributed to Canada, where 129 cases, five deaths, and 44 hospitalizations have been reported.

Many of those affected reported consuming pre-cut cantaloupe in plastic packaging and trays purchased from stores.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised people not to purchase, consume, or serve cantaloupe if its origin is unknown.

Six companies have issued recalls for products containing cantaloupe, including fruit cup mixes.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned that if individuals are uncertain whether their melon is one of the recalled products, they should not consume it.

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The CDC reported last week that the individuals requiring hospital treatment included residents of care homes and children at daycare centers. The actual number of people affected by the outbreak is likely higher than reported, as it takes three to four weeks to confirm whether a sick person is part of an outbreak.

Health officials are still investigating whether additional products are linked to the illnesses.

Salmonella can cause stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, and can result in serious illness in young children, individuals over 65, and those with weakened immune systems.

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