The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections.
23 people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from 10 states. Nearly all the people live in or traveled to Florida about a month before they got sick, although the significance of this is not yet known.
Public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick. So far, a common food item has not been identified.
22 people have been hospitalized and one death has been reported from Illinois.
Five people got sick during their pregnancy, and one illness resulted in a fetal loss.
Pregnant people and their newborns, adults aged 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe Listeria infection.
CDC is advising people at high risk who have symptoms of a Listeria infection, especially those who have recently traveled to Florida, to talk to their healthcare provider.
Listeria can cause severe illness (known as invasive listeriosis) when the bacteria spread beyond the gut to other parts of the body.
Pregnant women typically experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
People who are not pregnant may experience headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches.
Symptoms of severe illness usually start within two weeks after eating food contaminated with Listeria but may start as early as the same day or as late as 70 days after.
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