Listeria deaths rise to 18, outbreak spreads to 20 states

October 6, 2011DENVER - The outbreak of listeriosis linked to whole Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes from Colorado’s Jensen Farms is now more than six times larger than it was when the first public warnings about contaminated melons were issued just three weeks ago. In its eighth update on the rapidly expanding outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta said 100 people from 20 states have been confirmed infected with one or more of the four outbreak associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes. Two more deaths in Colorado and one in Kansas were the additional fatalities since CDC’s last update on Sept. 29, when 15 deaths were reported. Arkansas reported its first case linked to the outbreak. The listeriosis outbreak is responsible for five deaths each in Colorado and New Mexico and two each in Kansas and Texas. States with one death each are Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. More Listeria-connected deaths are likely and may well have already occurred. CDC’s update is good through 11 a.m. Oct. 3. Media reports say there have been other deaths that are not yet included in the CDC totals. For example,  Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals is investigating the death of an 87-year-old Baton Rouge woman whose death was caused by a Listeria infection to see if it is connected to the outbreak strains. A similar death is under investigation in Wyoming. While the outbreak may not have yet reached its zenith, CDC’s profiling of the victims is telling a story. Listeria poises the greatest threat to the elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. CDC’s data shows that illnesses began on or after July 31 and involved people from 35 to 96 years old, with a median age of 79.  Most are over age 60. For the 93 people that CDC has information on, 98 percent have required hospitalization. Forty-nine percent of the victims are women, including two who are pregnant.  Listeria can cause miscarriage or stillbirths in pregnant women. CDC says “the outcome of each pregnancy is being monitored.” –Food and Safety News
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4 Responses to Listeria deaths rise to 18, outbreak spreads to 20 states

  1. Mary says:

    I learned this as a little girl watching my mother prepare the fruits and vegetables. She would always put them in a big plan of water and vinegar and wash them real good- If she used a knife it wa wiped down with clorex. I’ll bet people will buy a cantelop and just cut it open and serve it. No telling what germs are on it and the knife also after it is used. Cleanliness is next to godliness— the motto back then

  2. Ironsides says:

    The FDA and MONSANTO should be held responsible, for the poisoning of farmers’ land all over the world, to make them slaves to MONSANTO’s Global monopoly for GM-fertilizers, pesticides and seeds.

  3. luisport says:

    denverpost The Denver Post
    por BreakingNews
    ALERT: Death toll from listeria-tainted cantaloupe rises to 21: http://dpo.st/nZEkqM #breakingnews
    há 42 minutos

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