Hundreds of people have been diagnosed with salmonella, including dozens of cases in Illinois.
The outbreak is happening in connection with red, white and yellow onions that were imported from Mexico in August. It has impacted more than 650 people across 37 states. No deaths have been reported in connection with the salmonella cases, but 129 people have been hospitalized. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that:
“The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.”
The CDC breaks down the number of reported outbreaks in each state. CDC data show that 37 people have been impacted in Illinois, placing it among the states with the highest number of reported cases.
CDC officials advise people to throw away any onions “if you can’t tell where they’re from,” and sanitize any surfaces that the onions might have touched.