May 27, 2024

Mystery Listeria monocytogenes Outbreak Grows With 18 Cases

The mystery Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has grown with 18 cases and seven new hospitalizations in 15 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That is an increase of seven more patients. Patients in five more states have been added to the outbreak total. This is the first update in this outbreak since the original notice was published on February 15, 2023.

Mystery Listeria Outbreak Grows With 18 Cases

The case count by state is: Arkansas (1), California (1), Colorado (1), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (2), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New York (1), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (1), Washington (1) and Wisconsin (2). Samples were collected from July 3, 2018 to March 31, 2023. The patient age range is from less than 1 to 96 years. There is one pregnancy illness in a newborn. In all, 17 of the 18 patients have been hospitalized.

This outbreak was announced because recent illnesses were discovered, even though the outbreak goes back almost five years. The government wants people, especially those in high risk groups such as the elderly, pregnant women, young children, and those with chronic illnesses, to be aware of foods that are higher risk for Listeria monocytogenes contamination. They include soft cheeses, deli meats, raw sprouts, raw milk, pates, lunch meat, smoked fish, and ice cream. A specific food item has not yet been identified as a source in this outbreak.

Symptoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by this pathogen, can take up to 70 days to manifest. This serious illness causes symptoms ranging from a severe headache to a higher fever and stiff neck. Those symptoms are often preceded by nausea and diarrhea.

If you have been ill with these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this mystery Listeria monocytogenes outbreak.

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