76 Salmonella cases in Oregon linked to red onions

State health officials are warning people not to eat onions from Thomson International Inc. of Bakersfield, California, after 76 people in Oregon got sick with Salmonella. Eighteen of the cases have been hospitalized.

According to the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division, the Oregon cases are part of an outbreak that has sickened more than 400 people across 40 states and parts of Canada.

Red onions are likely the source, but Thomson will be recalling all kinds of onions that could have been cross-contaminated.

400 to 500 cases of Salmonella are reported in Oregon each year. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps one to seven days after being exposed. The illness usually lasts four to seven days.

Most people recover without treatment but some people have severe infections. Young children, older adults and people with weak immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.

Salmonella can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and, in rare cases, can be deadly.

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