State Health Department Reports Two Salmonella Cases Linked to National Outbreak

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 13, 2008) - The state Health Department today reported two laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella Saintpaul infections in New York state that may be associated with the national outbreak in 23 states linked to tomatoes. There have been 229 outbreak-associated cases of Salmonella Saintpaul reported nationwide, including one death and 25 hospitalizations. There have been no hospitalizations or deaths in New York state.

The Department and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend eating raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw red round tomatoes only if grown and harvested from the states and countries listed as safe on FDA's website at http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html.

Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, tomatoes grown at home and tomatoes grown in New York have not been implicated in the outbreak and can be eaten.

Do not eat any tomatoes already purchased, unless the source of the tomatoes can be confirmed as safe by the FDA. Washing the tomatoes does not eliminate the risk for Salmonella.

Of the two laboratory-confirmed cases in New York state; one was a New York City resident diagnosed in Pennsylvania; the second case was a resident of Orange County. Both cases were not hospitalized and have recovered. Both cases had an illness onset on or after April 1, 2008, and were identified as Salmonella Saintpaul at the state Health Department's Wadsworth Laboratories and the state laboratory in Pennsylvania, respectively. Testing conducted to date has found that the bacteria is likely associated with the national outbreak.

The state Health Department is working closely with the New York City and Orange County health departments and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate the outbreak.

If you have consumed any of the types of tomatoes linked to this outbreak and have experienced symptoms, such as diarrhea or abdominal cramps, please contact your health care provider.

Facts

  • People infected with Salmonella may experience mild or severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever and occasionally vomiting. Bloodstream infections may be serious, particularly in the very young or elderly.
  • The symptoms generally appear one to three days after contact with Salmonella bacteria. Symptoms usually resolve in five to seven days and often do not require treatment unless the patient becomes severely dehydrated or the infection spreads. Those with severe diarrhea may require rehydration, often with intravenous fluids. Antibiotics are usually not necessary unless the infection spreads.
  • Not all diarrheal illness is caused by Salmonella. However, if diarrhea is present in children, or has lasted more than a day or two in adults, or is bloody, a health care provider should be consulted immediately.

Additional information about Salmonella can be found on the Department's website at www.nyhealth.gov or on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.