1 dead 54 sick with salmonella in UK, Europe linked to watermelon

The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) is investigating an outbreak of a strain of Salmonella Newport infection among 30 people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland since the beginning of December 2011. Cases of illness caused by the same strain have been confirmed in Scotland, Ireland and Germany.

Dr Bob Adak, head of the gastrointestinal diseases department at the HPA said: “Although it’s too soon to say with certainty what the likely cause of infection is, early indications suggest that a number of people became unwell after eating watermelon. This has also been noted in the cases in Scotland and Germany although further investigation is ongoing.

Confirmed cases:

• England – 26
• Wales – 3
• Northern Ireland – 1
• Scotland – 4
• Republic of Ireland – 5
• Germany – 15