November 14, 2019

Mystery Deadly Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Ends With 24 Sick

The mystery deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that sickened 24 people in 13 states and caused two deaths has been declared over by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with no resolution. The outbreak notice states, “A specific food item, grocery store, food processor, or restaurant chain was not identified as the source of infections in the United States.”

Mystery Deadly Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Ends With 24 Sick

People who were sickened in this outbreak were sickened by a strain of Listeria bacteria that was closely related genetically to Listeria that made people sick in a Canadian outbreak. That Canadian outbreak was linked to recalled Rosemount frozen cooked chicken. The Listeria outbreak in Canada was deemed over on November 6, 2019.

The case count by state is: California (4), Florida (1), Iowa (1), Illinois (4), Indiana (1), Kansas (1), Kentucky (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (3), New York (2), Ohio (2), Oregon (2), and Texas (1).  Illness onset dates range from July 20, 2017 to August 1, 2019. The patient age range was from 35 to 92 years.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact food safety attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened with Listeria monocytogenes infections, said, “It’s unfortunate that the government could not identify the cause of this outbreak. No one should get seriously ill, or die, because they decided to eat food someone else prepared.”

Public officials used the PulseNet system to find people who were sickened with the same genetic fingerprint of Listeria bacteria. That’s why the illness onset dates are so wide ranging. Whole genome sequencing showed that the bacteria isolated from ill people were closely related genetically.¬†Despite interviews with patients, the government did not identify a common food or exposure among ill people.

The high hospitalization rate in this outbreak is typical for listeriosis outbreaks. Most people who get sick from this bacteria have other health problems, including chronic illnesses and compromised immune systems. Those people can protect their health by avoiding precooked meat, especially deli meats, soft cheeses, especially deli cheeses, along with undercooked meats, poultry, and eggs.

 

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