Listeria Outbreak In US – As per CDC, the listeria germ is difficult to remove once it gets into the deli food as it can survive even in very cold temperatures

Listeriosis, caused by a bacteria called listeria is a foodborne infection that can cause minor to severe illnesses in human beings

Listeria outbreak has been reported across six US states causing illness in 16 people, killing one and causing one pregnancy loss as informed by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Among the 16 infected, 13 have been reportedly hospitalized.

Reportedly, the consumption of Deli meats which includes cold cuts, hot dogs and cheeses could be a possible source of the outbreak. However, CDC along with the federal Food and Drug Administration is still investigating the exact root cause of the sudden spread.

As per reports, seven cases were reported in New York, three in Maryland (of which one died), one in New Jersey, two in Massachusetts, two in Illinois and one in California

According to CDC, most people infected are either of Eastern European descent or speak Russian.

As per the American health agency, the actual number of cases would be higher than the number reported and also the spread has not been limited to one state.

Deli Meat and Cheese: Possible sources

CDC informed that deli meats and cheese are known sources of listeria illnesses. The germ can easily spread among food on deli counters, surfaces and even through hands. The two have been considered the sources of the disease outbreak. As per CDC, the listeria germ is difficult to remove once it gets into the deli food as it can survive even in very cold temperatures.

What we must know about Listeria?

Listeriosis, caused by a bacteria called listeria is a foodborne infection that can cause minor to severe illness in human beings. Those in the risk category can be adversely affected by the infection and the disease has high mortality rates. The infection is a great threat to pregnant women, the elderly and anyone with a weakened immune system.

Symptoms of Listeria

As per reports, the initial symptoms of listeriosis can go unnoticed as the illness can have a wide range of incubation periods from 11 to 70 days. The following might be some symptoms-

  1. Muscle aches
  2. Fever
  3. Flu-like symptoms
  4. Nausea
  5. Diarrhoea
  6. Headache and confusion

For some the disease might pass without any complications but for some, it can lead to further conditions like paralysis, tremors, serious blood infection, and meningitis (infection of brain membranes) and can also result in miscarriage or premature birth.

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