Listeria outbreak tied to 22 hospitalizations, 1 dying

A Listeria outbreak has sickened 23 folks within the U.S., leading to 22 hospitalizations and one dying, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced (opens in new tab) Thursday (June 30). 

These instances occurred between Jan. 24, 2021 and June 12, 2022, with 16 of the 23 instances occurring this yr, the agency reported (opens in new tab).

Listeriosis is brought on by a bacterium referred to as Listeria monocytogenes, which could be present in soil, water, moist environments, decaying greens and lifeless animals, in keeping with the Food and Drug Administration (opens in new tab) (FDA). The micro organism usually will get transmitted to folks by means of contaminated meals, as merchandise can decide up the microbe at any stage of harvesting, processing or transport and the bug can survive and develop beneath refrigeration and different meals preservation measures.

Up to now, listeriosis outbreaks within the U.S. have been linked to a variety of merchandise, together with unpasteurized milk, ice cream, smoked fish, scorching canine and uncooked or processed greens, amongst others. Nonetheless, the CDC has not but recognized the meals supply of the present outbreak. 

Instances have been documented in 10 states, together with Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida, the place 12 out of the 23 instances occurred. In whole, 20 of the sickened folks reported residing in or touring to Florida within the month earlier than they obtained sick. 

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Generally, L. monocytogenes is probably to trigger extreme sickness throughout pregnancy, in addition to in newborns, folks ages 65 and older and other people with weakened immune systems, the CDC states. Folks exterior these demographics can nonetheless contract the an infection however not often turn out to be severely sick. 

Signs usually seem inside two weeks of consuming contaminated meals — though they will begin as early as the identical day or as late as 70 days after — and as soon as they come up, signs could final for days or perhaps weeks. The an infection could be handled with antibiotics.

Listeriosis could trigger fever, muscle aches, complications, a stiff neck, confusion, lack of steadiness and convulsions, the CDC states. The an infection may trigger frequent meals poisoning signs, resembling nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In extreme instances, notably in aged and immunocompromised folks, the micro organism can infect the bloodstream (sepsis) or brain (meningitis and encephalitis), according to the CDC (opens in new tab)

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Whereas related signs could come up throughout being pregnant, the principle concern is that listeriosis may result in severe being pregnant issues, together with miscarriage, stillbirth and untimely supply. Infants born with listeriosis infections can develop severe issues that require quick remedy and can lead to lifelong well being points or dying, the FDA warns. 

5 pregnant folks turned sick throughout the present outbreak, and one in all these sicknesses resulted in a “fetal loss,” the CDC reported.  

To decelerate or stop the expansion of L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat refrigerated or frozen meals, the FDA recommends setting your fridge to 40 levels Fahrenheit (4 levels Celsius) or colder and the freezer to 0 F (-18 C) or colder. 

Different preventative measures embrace: 

  • Washing the within partitions and cabinets of the fridge, chopping boards, counter tops and utensils that will have contacted contaminated meals; then sanitizing them with an answer of 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of scorching water; and drying them with a clear material or paper towel that has not been beforehand used. 
  • Wiping up spills within the fridge instantly and cleansing the fridge frequently. 
  • Washing your arms with heat water and cleaning soap for at the least 20 seconds earlier than and after dealing with meals and following any cleansing and sanitation course of. 

Separate from the FDA’s investigation into the continued listeriosis outbreak, on June 30, A&M Farms of Lyons, Georgia voluntarily recalled a few of its complete Vidalia onions, offered beneath the model identify Little Bear, citing potential contamination with L. monocytogenes, the FDA reported (opens in new tab). Once more, Little Bear onions haven’t but been linked to the continued outbreak, and to this point, no sicknesses or adversarial occasions have been reported in connection to the onions. 

Initially printed on Dwell Science.

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