The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring Listeria infections across the nation, with 23 cases across 10 states, including one death in Illinois and 22 hospitalizations.
“Nearly all the people live in or traveled to Florida about a month before they got sick, although the significance of this is not yet known,” the CDC noted.
Florida has the most cases (12), followed by two cases each in New York and Massachusetts, according to data from the CDC. The other seven states have identified only one case each.
The Florida Phoenix is awaiting a response from the Florida Department of Health about the situation.
CDC officials warned about the bacterial outbreak in a Twitter post on Thursday. “NEW Listeria outbreak: 23 people sick, 20 of them live in or traveled to Florida before they got sick,” it reads. “CDC will provide new info as investigation progresses.”
The illness is usually spread through contaminated food, the CDC said, but “the investigation has not yet identified a food linked to illness.”
Officials already were responding to outbreaks of meningococcal infections and monkeypox. The government on Tuesday announced its national vaccine strategy to tackle the 2022 monkeypox outbreak, a rare disease that can cause a rash or blisters.
Florida at least 12 deaths from meningococcal disease, which the CDC says “can lead to meningitis (infection and swelling of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and septicemia (infection of the bloodstream).”
Meanwhile, CDC officials said those most at risk of severe illness from Listeria infection include “pregnant people and their newborns, adults aged 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems.”
“Other people can be infected with Listeria, but they rarely become seriously ill,” the CDC added.
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