ATLANTA – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention added a case patient to a list of individuals impacted by deli meats tainted by Listeria monocytogenes. As of Nov. 30, 2020, a total of 11 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from three states – New York, Massachusetts and Florida.
All 11 case patients were hospitalized; one death was reported from Florida, CDC said.
“State and local public health officials interviewed ill people about the foods they ate in the month before they became ill,” CDC said. “Of the 10 people interviewed, all reported eating Italian-style deli meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto. They reported purchasing prepackaged deli meats and meats sliced at deli counters at various locations.”
CDC announced an investigation into the outbreak in October of 2020. The investigation is ongoing as public health officials work to identify a specific type of deli meat or a common supplier.
CDC advises that individuals who are at higher risk of getting sick from Listeria should avoid eating deli meats, unless heated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot just before serving. Individuals most at risk include pregnant women, people aged 65 or older, or those who have a weakened immune system due to medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, alcoholism and HIV.
Symptoms of listeriosis include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches. Infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn.