, ,

Cantaloupes grown in Southwestern Indiana and distributed in Kentucky are the likely source of an outbreak of Salmonella infections that has sickened 50 people in Kentucky. Two deaths are associated with the outbreak.

The implicated cantaloupes carry the same strain of Salmonella that was recovered from outbreak victims. FDA is working to trace the source and distribution of the contaminated melons.

According to Charles Kendell with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, there were 137 reports of Salmonella in the state during July – twice the usual number for this time of year. Approximately 61% of confirmed cases reported exposure to cantaloupe and/or watermelon. Lab testing of clinical specimens from outbreak victims confirmed three different genetic strains of Salmonella typhimurium.

Indiana also has experienced outbreak-related cases of Salmonella, Kendell added.

A CDC-led investigation is continuing into additional outbreak clusters that may also be linked to consumption of cantaloupe or watermelon. When asked for information on the outbreak, CDC spokesperson Lola Russell replied that the agency hoped to be in a position to share information later today.