Health Officials Expect Listeria Outbreak Numbers to Rise

(US Dept. of Health and Human Services photo)
(US Dept. of Health and Human Services photo)

Health officials across the country say that more cases of Listeria in connection with the cantaloupe outbreak are a real possibility, as the incubation period for the bacteria can be up to two months and symptoms of the disease can take time to manifest themselves.

Dept. of Health spokeswoman Kim Deti explains.

The cantaloupes, from Jensen Farms in Granada, Colorado, were recalled last Friday, and officials advise not to eat a particular fruit if unsure of its origin.

Deti confirmed Tuesday that Listeria that killed a Sheridan County woman last week is believed to be linked to the Colorado cantaloupe outbreak. At least sixteen people have died and more than seventy have become ill nationwide from the bacteria, according to Center for Disease Control reports on Thursday.

Symptoms of Listerosis include fever, muscle aches, stiff neck, diarrhea, headaches, convulsions, and confusion.

The bacteria can be potentially dangerous and even deadly to those with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions. Deti said pregnant women should be especially careful because the bacteria can cause stillbirth, and serious illness or death in newborns.

States reporting cases include: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

More information can be found by visiting www.health.wyo.gov.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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