Health experts are attempting to determine the cause of a nationwide outbreak of listeria-related illnesses.
As per Fox59, even though a specific food item has not been confirmed as the source, the CDC is concerned about the latest outbreak of sickness. Here is what we know about the investigation’s status and what is being done to locate the source.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium capable of causing the life-threatening sickness of Listeriosis. It can also induce common symptoms of food poisoning. According to the CDC, approximately 260 individuals die from listeriosis each year. Pregnant women and their newborns, individuals 65 and older, and those with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible.
Invasive listeriosis occurs when the bacteria move beyond the digestive tract to other organs. Typically, symptoms develop within two weeks after Listeria-contaminated food consumption. Signs of pregnancy are typically modest. Nonetheless, according to the CDC, illness during pregnancy typically results in miscarriage, stillbirth, early delivery, or life-threatening infection in the newborn.
In non-pregnant individuals, symptoms can be severe. According to the CDC, nearly one in twenty non-pregnant patients with invasive listeriosis die. Ten individuals who have become ill have been hospitalized. 73% of those afflicted are female, with a median age of 73 years and a range of 47 to 88 years.
According to the CDC, signs of severe disease often appear within two weeks after consuming food contaminated with Listeria, however, they can appear as early as the same day or as late as 70 days later. Since July 2018, illnesses have been documented in this outbreak.
Officials are still attempting to pinpoint the specific origin of the diseases. State and municipal public health officials are interviewing individuals to determine what foods they consumed in the month preceding their illness.
The CDC reports that public health investigators are also utilizing a system that administers a nationwide database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria in order to identify illnesses that may be associated with this epidemic. Identified the source of the Jif peanut butter Salmonella incident using the same methodology.
The analysis revealed that bacteria isolated from sick persons are genetically related. According to the CDC, this indicates that the incident was likely caused by the same meal.
As of the time of this publication, the investigation into the infections continues. Officials in the field of public health are accumulating a variety of data in an effort to pinpoint the source of the diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises those at increased risk for severe Listeria illness to contact their healthcare provider if they exhibit symptoms until more information is obtained. All cases of listeriosis should be reported to the local health department.
If someone do become ill, local or state health officials may contact them to find out what they were doing in the month prior to being ill, according to the CDC. For testing purposes, they may request copies of receipts, shopper card information, or leftover food.