(ORDO NEWS) — A deadly outbreak of listeriosis in six US states is caused by deli meats and cheeses. This was reported by representatives of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Listeriosis is especially dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Doctors urge not to buy or eat sliced meats and cheeses in grocery stores.
A total of 16 people have been infected in New York, Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, California and New Jersey. 13 people were hospitalized.
One patient died in Maryland. Another pregnant woman lost her baby. The age of the diseased is from 38 to 92 years, more than half are men.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating why the outbreak appears to be disproportionately affecting this part of the population.
It is possible that many infected people could recover without medical care, so these cases are unlikely to be taken into account in official statistics.
“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than reported. Disease coverage may not be limited to states with known patients,” the center added.
The culprit for the infection is Listeria monocytogenes, a hardy bacteria that easily survives cooking. They are usually transmitted through food or water, as well as unpasteurized milk.
Listeria is very difficult to deal with. Grocery counters and food processing plants can be a source of infection, as bacteria live on their surfaces for quite a long time.
Symptoms of listeriosis appear within four weeks of infection, but may appear as late as 70 days.
In some cases, the first signs of infection are diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as headache, fever, muscle pain, confusion, loss of balance, and seizures.
In July 2022, 23 people were hospitalized in Florida with a Listeria infection. One pregnant woman also lost her baby.
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