How did listeria outbreak start? Atleast 1 dead and 16 infected in deadly outbreak across 6 states, CDC claims

Seven cases were reported from New York, where five of the victims purchased sliced deli meat or cheese from at least one NetCost Market grocery store

How did listeria outbreak start? Atleast 1 dead and 16 infected in deadly outbreak across 6 states, CDC claims
The recent listeria outbreak is linked to deli meat and cheese, according to the CDC (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images & CDC)
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ATLANTA, GEORGIA: A listeria outbreak that has affected several states and resulted in at least one death and more than a dozen cases of hospitalizations is being investigated by federal authorities. The outbreak, which authorities believe is linked to contaminated deli meat and cheese, has sickened 16 individuals in six states as of Wednesday, November 9, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said in a statement, “Epidemiological and laboratory data show that meat and cheese from deli counters contaminated with listeria are making people sick. Investigators are still working to identify any specific products or delis that may be contaminated with the outbreak strain." Seven of the instances were reported from New York, where five of the victims purchased sliced deli meat or cheese from at least one NetCost Market grocery store. Cases from other states also reported victims buying deli products before they fell ill.

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According to New York Daily News, CDC said in a statement, “Investigators do not believe that NetCost Market delis are the only source of illnesses because some sick people in the outbreak did not shop at a NetCost Market. A contaminated food likely introduced the outbreak strain of listeria into delis in multiple states.” A lady who fell ill during the epidemic also lost her pregnancy, officials said, adding that one death had been reported in Maryland. 

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According to officials, “The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for Listeria.” The outbreak reportedly began in April 2021 and the most recent infection was detected on Sept. 29, the CDC said. Eleven of the cases were found in people who speak Russian or are of Eastern European descent, said the CDC.

The CDC advises persons who are at a high risk of developing serious listeria diseases, such as pregnant women and people who are 65 years of age or older, should avoid consuming any meat or cheese from deli counters unless the product has been previously warmed to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Cases have also been documented in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, in addition to New York and Maryland. 

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According to the CDC, listeria is a bacteria that, once consumed, spreads outside of the gut to other areas of the body. It further noted that signs of serious illness often start to appear two weeks after consuming the contaminated food. About 1,600 Americans get the infection every year, and some 260 die. A severe case can cause a person to lose a pregnancy, and it can also kill newborns. 

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