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A listeria outbreak linked to deli meats has sickened 10 people in three states with one reported death, according to federal health officials.
In an investigation notice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said officials were investigating a multistate outbreak of listeria monocytogenes infections linked to deli meats, also known as lunch meat or cold cuts.
The CDC says a “specific type of deli meat and common supplier have not yet been identified” but, in interviews, nine of the ill people reported “eating Italian-style meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto” purchased prepackaged or sliced at deli counters.
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As of information posted Oct. 23, there have been seven cases from Massachusetts, two from New York and one from Florida.
All 10 people were hospitalized and the death was reported in Florida, the CDC said. The ill people range in age from 40 to 89 and 80% have been female.
Those at higher risk for getting sick with listeria are pregnant women, adults 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems, the CDC said, noting if you are not in these groups then “you are unlikely to get sick from Listeria.”
However, the CDC does advise people at higher risk of getting sick from listeria to “avoid eating deli meats, unless they are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot just before serving.”
The CDC says listeria can cause different symptoms and invasive listeriosis usually start one to four weeks after eating food contaminated with listeria but can start as late as 70 days after exposure.
Pregnant women typically experience fever and other flu-like symptoms, but that infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
Symptoms in people who are not pregnant can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches, the CDC said.
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