October 28, 2016

Listeria Outbreak in Canada Sickens Seven

Listeria IllustrationPrepackaged leafy greens are the suspected source of a Listeria outbreak in Canada that includes seven people in five provinces.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with local health officials to determine the source of the outbreak which began in September 2015. Seventy one percent of those sickened are female with an average age of 81. By province, the case count is as follows: Ontario (3), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (1), Prince Edward Island (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1).

Listeria can cause a serious disease called listeriosis. Symptoms of this infection, which can take up to two months to develop, include fever, muscle aches, stiff neck and gastrointestinal symptoms.  Those at highest risk include children, seniors pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. Among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and infection of newborns.

“We are working with Public Health Ontario and our provincial partners to investigate current cases of Listeria monocytogenes infections. Some of these cases are also part of a federally led national investigation,” Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long Term Care and Dr. David Williams, Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health said in a jointly issued statement.

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