Health officials in Kentucky and Tennessee and several states are investigating the outbreak of salmonella that is believed to have originated from cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana.
Two Kentuckians have died from the outbreak, according to Kentucky State Epidemiologist Doctor Craig Humbaugh, who says 50 others have been sickened.
Doctor Humbaugh says it’s too early to have all of the details regarding the victims, but they were infected with the bacteria when they passed away.
Most of those infected will feel symptoms within 12 to 72 hours of contracting the illness, and Doctor Humbaugh says the symptoms are easily recognized.
Tennessee Deputy Epidemiologist John Dunn says at least six people in the Volunteer State have fallen ill from the outbreak. He says those purchasing cantaloupes should ask the dealer where they were grown. One farm in southwestern Indiana is believed to be responsible for all of the infected melons.
Dunn says it’s the outer shell of the melon that contains the salmonella and that the fruit portion becomes infected when the cantaloupe is cut.
Anyone believing they might be infected is encouraged to contact a physician as soon as possible.