July 13, 2020

China Buffet Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak in Alexandria, Minnesota

A China Buffet Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in Alexandria, Minnesota was announced in a health advisory issued by the Minnesota Department of Health. Two cases of listeriosis have been identified among people who ate or may have eaten at that restaurant, which is located at 4721 Highway 29 South.

China Buffet Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak in Alexandria, Minnesota

The health advisory is skewed to healthcare providers. It was sent to local and tribal health departments, hospitals, and clinics. Listeriosis is a reportable illness, which means that any doctor who diagnoses a patient with this illness must report it to the health department.

There are only about eight cases of listeriosis reported every year in Minnesota. The two patients in this outbreak have the same strain of Listeria monocytogenes, which indicates that they share the same source of infection. Both patients told investigators that they ate at China Buffet in Alexandria on February 15, 2020. Public health officials are investigating the source, which may extend beyond the restaurant.

Symptoms of listeriosis include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. Pregnant women are at risk for serious complications from this infection, including miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature labor. And babies can be born with this infection if the mother has it. Symptoms of listeriosis in pregnant women are confusing, because they mimic the flu.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact Minnesota food safety attorney Fred Pritzker, who has filed many lawsuits for listeriosis patients, for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Because this bacteria has such a long incubation period, symptoms may not appear up to 70 days post infection. There are only about 1,500 cases of listeriosis every year in the United States, but the people who get sick usually get very sick. The hospitalization rate for this infection is very high, as is the death rate.

If you have been ill with symptoms of listeriosis and have visited that restaurant or live in the area, which is along the I-94 corridor in northern Minnesota, see your doctor. You may be part of this China Buffet Listeria monocytogenes outbreak.

 

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