Physician Information Staff
FRIDAY, July 1, 2022 (HealthDay News) — At least 23 people in 10 states have been sickened and one has died in a Listeria outbreak that may have originated in Florida, US health officials reported Thursday.
Although the cause of the outbreak remains a mystery, nearly all of the patients live in Florida or had traveled to the state about a month before falling ill, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.
Twenty patients reported having lived or traveled to Florida in the month prior to their illness. The first cases were reported in January, with the last cases reported in June, the CDC said. One of those infected died in Illinois, while 22 were hospitalized. Five women fell ill during their pregnancy and one suffered a pregnancy loss. The true outbreak tally is likely higher because it typically takes three to four weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak, so more recent cases may still arrive, the CDC said.
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Listeria outbreaks are often linked to dairy and produce, but investigators have traced recent outbreaks to soft cheeses, celery, sprouts, cantaloupe and ice cream, the CDC said.
People who show symptoms of Listeria infection should contact their health care provider, especially people who have traveled to Florida, the CDC said, and health care providers should report such illnesses to their local health department.
The disease can be treated with antibiotics, but pregnant women and newborns, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are all at higher risk of serious infection, the agency says. . People who are not pregnant may have headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, fever, muscle aches, and seizures. Pregnant women typically experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches, though the infection can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn, the CDC said. .
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