Deli Meat And Cheese Cause Deadly Listeria Epidemic In 6 States

On Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that a fatal listeria epidemic in six states was traced back to tainted deli meat and cheese.

Meat and cheese purchased at a deli counter should be reheated until “steaming hot” before being consumed by persons at high risk of serious disease from listeria infection, such as pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

Deli Meat And Cheese Cause Deadly Listeria Epidemic In 6 States
Deli Meat And Cheese Cause Deadly Listeria Epidemic In 6 States

Six states have reported a total of 16 cases, with 13 requiring hospitalization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported one death in Maryland and one additional pregnancy loss due to illness.

New York has had seven cases of listeria, Maryland three, Illinois two, Massachusetts two, California one, and New Jersey one. Infected people’s ages varied from 38 to 92, the average being 74. There were more males than women among the ill.

According to the CDC, most of the victims documented thus far are of Eastern European heritage or speak Russian, and the agency is currently looking into the possible causes of this disproportionate impact.

However, not all infected individuals who were ill required medical attention, and their cases have gone unreported. According to the CDC, “the real number of sick patients in this epidemic is certainly larger than the number recorded,” and the disease may have spread outside the states where cases have been documented.

Five of the seven New York residents who became ill had previously bought sliced deli meat or cheese from a NetCost Market, a network of supermarkets offering foreign commodities, according to interviews conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted, however, that victims in other states also reported purchasing meats or cheeses from delis.

Since listeria may quickly spread between food and equipment or surfaces and can be hard to remove, the CDC warns that deli counters and food processing facilities can be frequent sources of listeria illness.

The government suggests washing your refrigerator, any containers the deli meat or cheese may have touched, and anything else that might have been contaminated with hot, soapy water after purchasing deli meat or cheese.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that anybody who eats deli meat or cheese and develops serious Listeria disease should see their doctor immediately.

Listeria symptoms often show within four weeks, but might appear as late as 70 days after infection. Sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, are the earliest indicators of an infection. Headache, neck stiffness, fever, muscular discomfort, disorientation, loss of balance, and convulsions are some of the common secondary symptoms.

 

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