The listeriosis outbreak traced to recalled cantaloupes is causing reported illnesses in as many as 18 states nationwide. At least 72 people are sick from listeria infections and at least 13 are dead. Many consumers across the country are wondering what the symptoms of listeria are, especially those who purchased Rocky-Ford brand cantaloupes. (symptoms below)
On September 27, 2011, the CDC reported that there are at least 72 people infected in the following states: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The FDA has confirmed that the Jensen Farms’ Rocky-Ford brand cantaloupes are the source of the nationwide listeriosis illnesses. The produce was shipped from July 29 to September 10 to at least 18 states.
Important: If you have the Rocky-Ford brand cantaloupe, discard of it immediately. Washing will not kill the bacteria and Listeria can survive the cold of a refrigerator. Even if you cut the cantaloupe, bacteria can transfer to the inside of the fruit.
What are the main symptoms of listeria?
- A person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches. It is often preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Almost everyone who is diagnosed with listeriosis has “invasive” infection, in which the bacteria spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract.
- Symptoms, in addition to fever and muscle aches, can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.
- Pregnant women typically experience only a mild, flu-like illness. Infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
Who is at Risk?
Listeriosis can be fatal. Pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, those with with weakened immune systems are at a high risk of getting seriously ill from listeriosis.
What is Listeriosis?
A serious infection, it is usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
The Cantaloupe Recall – Illnesses/Deaths Reported as of September 27, 2011:
Thirteen deaths have been reported: 2 in Colorado, 1 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 4 in New Mexico, 1 in Oklahoma, and 2 in Texas.
As of September 26, 2011, a total of 72 persons infected with the four strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported to CDC from 18 states. The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (15), Florida (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Kansas (5), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), New Mexico (10), North Dakota (1), Oklahoma (8), Texas (14), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (1).
Source: CDC, FDA