U.S. reports one death tied to new listeria outbreak


One death and nearly two dozen hospitalizations are linked to a new listeria outbreak of unknown origin, health officials said Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not identified any food that may spread the deadly bacteria, but officials said the public should be alert to symptoms and the possibility of infection.

These symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea.

Listeria can be treated with antibiotics, but is especially dangerous for pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

CDC officials say nearly all of the 23 people known to have been infected in the outbreak are living in or have traveled to Florida about a month before falling ill.

Listeria is one of the most dangerous forms of food poisoning and 22 of those infected have been hospitalized. One person from Illinois died and a pregnant woman lost her fetus, the CDC said. Officials did not say whether the deceased was the pregnant woman who lost the fetus.

Symptoms of Listeria usually begin one to four weeks after eating contaminated food, but can start as early as the same day.

The first cases occurred in January of this year, but continued until June, when two of the people fell ill, CDC officials said.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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