Cupertino, CA. First came an E. coli scare associated with romaine lettuce. That was followed by another health threat involving melons. Now, a nationwide outbreak of a previously unknown strain of cellmonella has forced the Food and Drug Administration to issue a recall of suspected sources. Apples, in particular, have been identified by the agency as the likely cause of the malignancy. Apples have been pulled from stores across the country.
The first indications of an epidemic occurred near Cupertino. Apples had been featured in chain markets there for some time before the first indications of the problem arose. Two weeks ago, patients began showing up at the local Kaiser Permanente hospital, complaining of unusual scabs on ear lobes, constant ringing in one ear, and severe headaches. Some of the complaints reminded doctors of the as yet undiagnosed damage suffered by American diplomatic personnel at the embassy in Cuba and at a consulate in China. But in addition to those symptoms, the most serious problem seems to be cellmonella in the digestive tract, which was not an issue for the diplomats.
Efforts to determine the source of the Cuban and Chinese problems have been unsuccessful. Kaiser doctors believe the illness in the U. S. may be related to electrical waves created by holding tightly the suspected item, but they have been unable to pinpoint the precise cause.
Apples, in the meantime, have been recalled by the FDA in a precautionary move.