Listeria outbreak linked to deli meats turns deadly

Grant Boone
April 19, 2019

Eight people in four states, including NY and New Jersey, have been hospitalized with listeria infections linked to deli meats and cheeses, including one person who died, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Those interviewed by the CDC said they ate different types and brands of products from various deli counters.

The outbreak has put eight people in the hospital in four states. All patients were hospitalized, and the patient who died is from MI.

Health officials identified the strain in this outbreak from sliced meat samples and deli counters at several stores in NY and Rhode Island. They have not identified the supplier of the deli products.

People at higher risk for severe Listeria infection should handle deli-sliced products carefully to prevent illness, according to the CDC.

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During an initial investigation of three cases in March 2017, there was not enough information to determine the source of the outbreak.

The CDC is not telling people to stop eating food prepared at delis either. It's also more unsafe for the very old, young children and newborns, as well as people with immunosuppressive conditions such as leukemia and AIDS, or those being treated by chemotherapy or radiation, which can also suppress the immune system. Retailers are also reminded to clean and sanitize all deli slicers frequently and other areas where products are prepared, stored or served.

Symptoms of listeria include muscle aches, diarrhea, fever, headaches, confusion and convulsions.

Listeria poses a special risk to pregnant women; infection can increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.

People with invasive listeriosis usually report symptoms starting one to four weeks after eating food contaminated with Listeria; some people have reported symptoms starting as late as 70 days after exposure, or as early as the same day of exposure. Infection is treated with antibiotics.

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