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Bacterial infection ravages grocery store delis: Symptoms can take months to materialize

On Wednesday Nov. 9, the CDC announced that a listeria outbreak that has spread across six states has been linked to deli meats and cheeses. listeria is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. According to the CDC, it infects about 1,600 people in the U.S per year, and of those, about 260 die from it. Pregnant women, people older than 65 and those who are immunocompromised are most at risk when contaminated with listeria. The CDC states that people in these at risk categories should not consume any deli meats without reheating it to kill any bacteria contained in it. For everyone who has bought any type of deli meat or cheese, the CDC has advised them to do a thorough cleaning of their refrigerator to prevent any potential cross-contamination.

The outbreak was found in six states: Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois and California. Outbreaks have occurred throughout the past couple of years, dating back to April 2021 and up to Sept. 2022. Those who got sick varied in age, ranging from 38 to 92, with a median of 72 years old. In New York, the outbreak can be traced back to a NetCost Market, who had been involved in a previous listeria outbreak back in Oct. 2021. Many believe that there are more outbreaks than stated, as cases often go unreported as they recover from the illness.

According to the CDC, typical symptoms can include headache, neck stiffness, fever, muscle pain, confusion, loss of stability and convulsions. Symptoms do not appear after infection. They can appear within four weeks of becoming infected, but in some cases can take up to 70 days to manifest.

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