1 Dead, 22 Hospitalized in Multi-State Listeria Outbreak Tied to Florida

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Listeria
Listeria

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One person has died and 22 have been hospitalized due to a multi-state listeria outbreak with ties to Florida, health officials confirmed on Thursday.

The infected individuals reside in 10 states across the country, but nearly all the people live in or traveled to Florida within a month of getting sick, the CDC said in an investigation notice.

The outbreak is still under investigation by the CDC, and while listeria is typically connected to food, the agency said that "a specific food item has not yet been identified as the source of this outbreak."

The cases were reported from January 2021 and June 2022 in people ranging from the age of 1 to 92 years old, according to the agency. More than 50 percent were male, the CDC said.

Five people became ill while pregnant, and the infection resulted in a fetal loss, health officials said.

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According to a map released by the CDC, people affected by the listeria outbreak live in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

The CDC also expects the number of people affected by the outbreak to rise.

"The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses," the CDC said. "In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak."

According to the Cleveland Clinic, listeria is "a foodborne illness caused by the bacteria L. monocytogenes."

Pregnant people and those with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk of a severe infection, according to the clinic. Symptoms typically include fever and flu-like reactions, such as muscle aches and fatigue, according to the CDC.

The symptoms typically begin within two weeks of eating contaminated food, but can start the same day or up to 70 days later, according to the CDC.

The CDC is asking health care providers to report listeriosis illnesses to their local health departments.