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CDC investigating listeria outbreak with a possible tie to Florida

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Posted at 4:44 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 06:19:48-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday it was monitoring an outbreak of a strain of Listeria monocytogenes that impacted at least 23 people in 10 states as of June 29.

According to the CDC, of the 22 people they have full information on, 20 of them reported living in or traveling to Florida in the month before they got sick. The CDC said the significance of this fact is still under investigation.

The illnesses started on January 24 and cases have been reported as recently as June 12. Listeria patients ranged in age from less than one to 92 years old. The CDC said one person has died and 22 of the people infected have been hospitalized. Five of the patients were pregnant and one lost her baby during the illness.

The CDC said the true number of people who have been infected is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. The health organization also said it usually takes three to four weeks to determine if a person is part of an outbreak.

"A specific food item has not yet been identified as the source of this outbreak," the CDC said in a statement.

Listeria is most likely to sicken pregnant women and their newborns, people over the age of 65, and people with weakened immune systems. The CDC said if you're higher risk and have symptoms, especially if you've recently traveled to Florida, talk to your healthcare provider.

People who are pregnant — Symptoms typically include:

  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as muscle aches and fatigue

People who are not pregnant — Symptoms typically include:

  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as muscle aches and fatigue
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Loss of balance
  • Seizures

The states reporting cases of listeria the CDC is investigating include:

  • Florida - 12
  • Colorado - 1
  • Georgia - 1
  • Illinois - 1
  • Kansas - 1
  • Massachusetts - 2
  • Minnesota - 1
  • New Jersey - 1
  • New York - 2
  • Pennsylvania - 1