LIMA – The Allen County Health Department is monitoring the outbreak of Salmonella that is currently being linked to cantaloupe grown in Southwestern Indiana. Ohio has reported two cases of this strain of Salmonella and is one of twenty states affected by this outbreak. Over 140 cases have been reported since early July, including 31 hospitalizations and two deaths.
"At this time, only cantaloupes from Southwestern Indiana are thought to be contaminated with Salmonella," says Kathy Luhn, Health Commissioner. Consumers who have recently purchased cantaloupe are encouraged to ask their retailer where the cantaloupe was grown. If the cantaloupe is known to come from Southwestern Indiana, or if it is uncertain where the fruit came from, the cantaloupe should be thrown out. If the cantaloupe is not from this area of Indiana it is considered safe to eat.
The symptoms of Salmonella include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. The illness lasts from 4 to 7 days and most cases will recover without treatment. If diarrhea becomes severe or if signs of dehydration are present, it may be necessary to visit your health care provider. Individuals with weakened immune systems, infants and the elderly are at greater risk for severe cases of Salmonella.