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Salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut Walmart melon

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — The Illinois Department of Public Health is recommending that no one eat pre-cut melon bought at a Walmart store in the state, due to an outbreak of salmonella.

So far, six cases have been reported in the state – as well as several other cases in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio – in all regions of Illinois, the IDPH release stated. Janet Hill, COO of the Rock Island County Health Department, said the agency hasn’t indicated whether any cases are from the Illinois Quad-Cities, but urged consumers to not eat pre-cut melon from area Walmarts.

A Centers for Disease Control investigation determined that the multistate outbreak indicates pre-cut melons and fruit salads are the likely source of the salmonella cases.

“The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging people not to eat pre-cut melon purchased from any Walmart store in Illinois, or any of the other affected states, at this time,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah. “If you have recently purchased pre-cut melon from
Walmart, throw it out. If you have recently eaten pre-cut melon from a Walmart store and experience diarrhea, fever, and cramps, contact your health care provider.”

Most people affected by Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after eating food contaminated by the bacteria. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. However, diarrhea for some people may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. The CDC has indicated there have been more hospitalizations
with this outbreak than what is typically seen. The elderly, infants, and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.