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At least 5 deaths linked to salmonella outbreak in the US and Canada
Cantaloupes are the source of a salmonella outbreak that has caused a serious epidemic in North America. The contaminated fruit is responsible for a large number of people becoming seriously ill, including several deaths in Canada and the United States, CBC reports.

Canadian health authorities have noted a significant increase in cases of salmonellosis in the country, recording 129 incidents, including 44 hospitalized patients and 5 deaths.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) in the US has recorded at least 230 cases of salmonella infections since November in 38 different states, among which 96 people were hospitalized and 3 died.

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The recalls involved whole cantaloupes and pre-cut products, such as salads, chunks and platters.

Consumers are advised to discard any cantaloupe or products containing cantaloupe if they are unsure of the source.

Symptoms of salmonella infections, which generally appear between six and seventy-two hours after exposure, are severe. They include headaches, nausea, stomach cramps, fever and abdominal pain.

Most people recover without medical treatment within a week, but the illness can become more serious and potentially fatal in young children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.

Health authorities are urging consumers to exercise caution and follow their advice when buying and eating cantaloupe that may have been contaminated.

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