Listeria outbreak kills 13 people in US


September 28, 2011

Listeria outbreak kills 13 people in US

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention traced the listeria outbreak to cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in Granada, Colorado, after finding Listeria monocytogenes in a sample from there.  The CDC reports that since July 31, 72 people in 18 states have been infected in the outbreak, involving four strains of Listeria monocytogenes. 13 people have died; including 2 in Colorado, 1 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 4 in New Mexico, 1 in Oklahoma and 2 in Texas.  State and local officials say they are investigating three additional deaths that may be connected.

Jensen Farms issued a recall on their Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupe on September 14.  The contaminated fruit was shipped from July 29 through Sept. 10 to 25 states.

According to Dr. Robert Tauxe of the CDC, the number of cases will grow in the coming weeks because it can take four weeks or more for symptoms of listeria to show up.  Consuming food contaminated with listeria bacteria can cause listeriosis, a potentially fatal disease in young children, pregnant women, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

The symptoms of listeriosis include, fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea.  “That long incubation period is a real problem,” Tauxe told The Associated Press.  “People who ate a contaminated food two weeks ago or even a week ago could still be falling sick weeks later. “The food-borne outbreak is the deadliest in the US in more than a decade, exceeding the 2008-2009 salmonella outbreak from tainted peanuts that killed nine and infected more than 700 people, according to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC).
Publisher: Salient News


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