In a significant development, the US CDC announced that a deadly listeria outbreak in six states had been linked to contaminated deli meat and cheese.
People who are at high risk for listeria infection, such as pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems, should avoid eating meat or cheese from any deli counter.
It’s been advised that if you’re buying from them, don’t eat it without first reheating it to a steaming hot temperature.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated a total of 16 people had been infected and 13 hospitalized. One person died, in addition to the pregnant patient who lost their baby because of it.
So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported seven listeria infections in New York, three in Maryland, one in California, two in Illinois, two in Massachusetts, and one in New Jersey.
The age of all the infected people ranged from 38 to 92. The average age of the diseased is noted as 74. Out of all the patients, half are reported to be men.
A disproportionate number of people affected by this outbreak have Eastern European or Russian ancestry. The CDC is still investigating the causes behind this case.
However, some people who got sick could have recovered without medical care. These cases went unreported, and their numbers are likely higher than the number reported by the CDC.
Amid reports of people becoming sick from eating food from supermarkets, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted interviews with those who became ill.
The CDC found that two-thirds of those infected had deli meat or cheese purchased at delis. After further investigation, it was found that other stores may also be affected by the disease. The name of the NetCost Market has come across the other stores during the investigation.
Listeria is a potentially deadly food-borne illness that can be contracted by anyone eating meats, vegetables, deli meats, and even seafood, according to the CDC. This bug is also relatively easy to spread, with poor sanitation practices making it hard to get rid of.
A good rule of thumb for everyone is to clean everything down to your refrigerator so that you make sure that no traces of the meat or cheese are left. Wipe down any surfaces that may have been in contact with the product and wash everything down with hot, soapy water.
If you experience symptoms of a Listeria infection after consuming meats or cheese that have been prepared at a deli, contact your healthcare provider right away.
Listeria symptoms usually start four weeks after infection or as late as 70 days in some cases. Typical signs that follow include diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms like stomach aches, fever, headaches, and muscle pain.
According to the CDC, pregnant women are at a much-increased risk of contracting listeria, as they are ten times more prone to get listeriosis. Hispanic pregnant people are also 24 times more likely to get this infection.
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