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1 dead, 17 hospitalized as salmonella outbreak linked to fruit worsens

One person has now died amid a worsening nationwide outbreak of salmonella linked to fresh fruit.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) did not report any details about the fatality.

Another 17 people have been hospitalized in connection with the outbreak.

The outbreak has been linked to imported cantaloupes sold under the label “Malichita.”

PHAC also said that “secondary recalls” have been issued for products made using Malichita cantaloupes as well as for items processed alongside the brand’s fruit.

<who> Photo credit: CFIA

As of Friday, Nov. 24, the agency had confirmed 63 cases of salmonella.

Twelve of those are in British Columbia, while the rest are in Quebec (35), Ontario (12), Newfoundland and Labrador (two) and Prince Edward Island (two).

More potential cases are under investigation, PHAC said.

PHAC said the people affected became sick between mid-October and mid-November.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) updated its food recall warning linked to the outbreak on Nov. 24, adding the Rudy brand of cantaloupes sold between Oct. 10 and Nov. 24.

“More recent illnesses may be reported in the outbreak because there is a period between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health officials,” PHAC explained.

“For this outbreak, the illness reporting period is between two and four weeks.”

The American Centre for Disease Control is also investigating an outbreak of illnesses linked to cantaloupes.

"Food contaminated with salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick," the CFIA said.

"Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections. Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

"Long-term complications may include severe arthritis."

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