Box displaying various cuts of tuna prepared as sashimi. Photo credit: Wiki Commons
Box displaying various cuts of tuna prepared as sashimi. Photo credit: Wiki Commons

Thirty-one California residents, including seven in San Diego County, have been diagnosed with a strain of salmonella likely linked to the consumption of raw tuna commonly used in sushi, state health officials announced today.

A total of 53 cases have been reported in nine states, according to the California Department of Public Health. Most of the patients reported eating sushi containing raw tuna, and 10 people have been hospitalized, officials said. No deaths have been reported.

State and local health officials, along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, are still trying to find the source of the outbreak.

“As the investigation continues, this is a good reminder to Californians that there are sometimes risks when eating raw or undercooked meats, fish or poultry,” according to Dr. Karen Smith, director of the CDPH. “This is particularly true for young children, the elderly or people with compromised immune systems who may be at an increased risk of severe illness.”

According to CDPH, there are seven cases in San Diego County, four cases in Riverside County, nine cases in Los Angeles County, six in Orange County, one in Santa Barbara County and four in Ventura County. The patients range in age from less than 1 to 83 years old.

Salmonella symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. Most patients often recover without any treatment, but some may need to be hospitalized due to severe diarrhea. It can be fatal if not treated promptly, according to CDPH.

— City News Service