(Update: Two more deaths were reported by the CDC later Friday bringing the total to 21. One death reported was in NY and the other in Indiana.) -- Fatalities and illnesses are still being reported almost a month after the initial recall of listeria-infected cantaloupes, and the Sheridan County, Wyo. death was officially added to the Centers for Disease Control tally this week, bringing the national death toll to 19.
Sheridan Media reported about a week ago that a Sheridan County woman died as a result of eating the tainted fruit. Public information officer for the Wyoming Department of Health, Kim Deti, said Friday that it took some time to confirm that the Listeria strain came from the outbreak at Jensen Farms in Colorado, and the confirmation of a Wyoming death came after CDC had already released its weekly report.
Two in Laramie County were reported sick shortly after the recall but no further illnesses have been reported in Wyoming since then, Deti said.
A New York distributor of Jensen farms cantaloupes recalled this week another late-August supply of the fruit to the Buffalo, New York area, according to AP reports.
The twenty-one deaths and almost 100 illnesses in now twenty states come since the first recall on September 14th.
This week, an Iowa woman's miscarriage was reported by the Iowa Department of Health to be caused by the bacteria. Listeria is known to be especially harmful to unborn babies and infants. Iowa brings the total states reporting illnesses to twenty-one.
Symptoms include headaches, fever, confusion, muscle aches, convulsions and diarrhea.
The cantaloupes are not likely on shelves or even edible at this time, but the bacteria has a long incubation period and it can take up to two months for Listerosis symptoms to present.
The CDC has not released information on how the cantaloupes at Jensen Farms were infected with the bacteria.
Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.