Skip to main content
Health Care Transportation

News roundup: Deadly trend in vehicle crashes continues, CDC warns of canteloupe contamination

A crash test dummy outside the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration headquarters in Glen Burnie reminds drivers along Ritchie Highway to buckle their seatbelts. Photo by Bryan P. Sears.

More than three dozen people died in Maryland last month as the result of motor vehicle crashes in the state.

The new data from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration continues to show the state in the grips of a deadly trend that is pushing deaths on state roadways to nearly 600 for the year.

In all, 38 people died in November, according to preliminary data released by the agency.

In the first 11months of the year, 554 people have lost their lives on state roads. This includes 135 pedestrians and 15 bicyclists. The total is 7.6% higher than the same period a year ago.

At the current rate, the state is expected to record more than 600 deaths related to vehicle crashes. That would be the first time the state has reached that milestone since 2007.

Gov. Wes Moore (D) ordered an increased police presence in state highway work zones last month in an effort to decrease fatal accidents.

The action was coupled with an announcement of 15 recommendations to drive down fatal crashes including increased fines and more automated speed cameras. Many of those recommendations from a panel appointed by Moore and chaired by Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller will require some budgetary, regulatory, and legislative changes.

Cantaloupe contamination

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning to not eat pre-cut cantaloupes if the origin of the cantaloupes is unknown, due to a strain of salmonella that has caused over 100 illnesses across 34 states, including one in Maryland.

Malichita and Rudy brand whole cantaloupes have been recalled as a result of the salmonella outbreak, but the CDC is additionally concerned over pre-cut fruit packages, where it may be difficult to discern where cantaloupe pieces originated.

The first 14 cases were identified in October, but since then the case number has grown to 117 cases, according to a Nov. 30 update.

“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses,” the CDC reports. “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.”

Half of the known infected individuals are aged 65 years or older, and another 29% are five years old or younger. The CDC noted that many of the severe salmonella cases were detected in long-term care facilities or childcare centers.

The CDC advises that “long-term care facilities, childcare centers, hospitals, and other facilities that care for people at higher risk for severe Salmonella illness to not serve recalled fruits and to not serve cantaloupe that was supplied pre-cut if they don’t know whether Malichita or Rudy brand cantaloupes were used.”

Only one salmonella has been identified in Maryland so far. The Maryland Health Department has not issued an advisory on the matter.

According to the CDC, symptoms of salmonella include fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps and can emerge within 6 hours to 6 days after contracting the bacteria. Most people recover without treatment within 4 days to a week.

However, young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems can experience more severe symptoms that could require hospitalization.

Over half of the salmonella cases identified have resulted in hospitalizations, according to CDC data.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our website. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

To republish, copy the following text and paste it into your HTML editor.


Creative Commons License AttributionCreative Commons Attribution
News roundup: Deadly trend in vehicle crashes continues, CDC warns of canteloupe contamination