The likely source of a salmonella outbreak that has infected 23 Minnesotans are a batch of bad onions from a growing region in Mexico.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday that the 23 Minnesota residents sickened with salmonella range in age from 7 to 77, all of them becoming ill between Aug. 8 and Sept. 18.
Four of Minnesota residents were hospitalized. None have died.
The onions linked to the outbreak are whole red, white and yellow varieties imported to the U.S. from Chihuahua, Mexico. They were sold to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the U.S.
The company that distributed the onions said the last batch of potentially contaminated onions was imported Aug. 27, though the CDC warns that "imported onions can last up to three months in storage and may still be in homes and businesses.
You're urged to call your doctor if you experience any of the following "severe" salmonella symptoms:
- Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
- Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
- Bloody diarrhea
- So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
- Signs of dehydration, such as:
- Not peeing much
- Dry mouth and throat
- Feeling dizzy when standing up
Most people usually recover without treatment in 4-7 days after symptoms begin. Symptom onset is typical anywhere from 6 hours to 6 days after swallowing the bacteria.
States with the most cases linked to the outbreak:
- Texas - 158 cases
- Oklahoma - 98
- Virginia - 59
- Maryland - 48
- Illinois - 37
- Wisconsin - 25
- Minnesota - 23
- Missouri - 21
- Kansas, North Carolina - 14
- Arkansas, Massachusetts, New York - 12
People are advised to avoid buying fresh whole onions with a ProSource (the distribution company) on them. People with onions at home that feature the ProSource sticker or no sticker at all are advised to not eat the onions.