April 18, 2024

Listeria outbreak kills three adults in Washington state, health department confirms

Three people have died from a listeria outbreak in the Washington statethe Department of Health then reported on 21 July.

Five adults over the age of 60 are known to have developed “severe infections” from Listeria monocytogenes (listeriosis), including the three who died.

All five had “compromised immune systems,” the health department said in the public statement.

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Listeria is a serious infection that occurs frequently contaminated food with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Two of the infected adults were women and three were men.

Three people have died from a listeria outbreak in Washington, the state Department of Health reported on July 21. (iStock)

Four of them were from Pierce County and one was from Thurston County.

The Washington State Department of Health is investigating the infections, along with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Thurston County Public Health and Social Services.

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“WA DOH is working with local Pierce and Thurston County health jurisdictions to gather information from interviews with patients and their families to help identify any common exposures,” the statement said.

Washington State

The Washington State Department of Health is investigating the listeria infections, along with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Thurston County Public Health and Social Services. (iStock)

The individuals likely picked up the infection from the same food source based on genetic fingerprinting results, according to the statement.

They all fell ill between 27 February and 30 June.

Fox News Digital reached out to the Washington State Department of Health for comment, but did not hear back by time of publication.

What is known about listeria

About 1,600 people develop listeriosis each year in the U.S., resulting in about 260 deaths, according to the CDC website.

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Among those facing the highest risk pregnant womennewborns, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems.

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Adults aged 65 and over are among the highest risk groups. (iStock)

People outside the high-risk groups rarely show symptoms, the CDC said.

Common symptoms among pregnant women include fever, muscle aches, fatigue and others flu-like symptoms.

In severe cases, the infection can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth or a potentially fatal infection in the baby.

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Symptoms in other groups include headache, stiff neck, balance problems, seizures and confusion.

Among those who are not pregnant, the death rate from listeriosis is about 5%, according to the CDC.

Intestinal illnessincluding diarrhea and vomiting, can also occur for 1-3 days, usually starting within 24 hours after eating contaminated food.

Pregnant woman in hospital

In severe cases among pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth or potentially fatal infection in the baby. (iStock)

The diagnosis of listeriosis is confirmed by laboratory tests on blood, spinal fluid or placenta.

For those with invasive disease, more Common treatment is antibiotics.

To prevent infection, people in high-risk groups should avoid eating foods that are more likely to be contaminated, according to the CDC.

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These include soft cheeses; meats, cheeses and salads from the deli; deli meats, cold cuts, hot dogs, and fermented or dry sausages; pâté or meat sheets; cold-smoked fish; sprouts; melons; and raw (unpasteurized) milk and raw milk products.

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In November 2022, it was reported that a listeria outbreak it has caused at least one death and one pregnancy loss, with 16 confirmed cases across six states.

That outbreak was linked to sliced ​​deli meats and cheeses, the CDC said on its website.

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