Listeria Outbreak Spreads, Linked to Cantaloupe

The multi-state outbreak of the bacterial infection listeria, which is particularly dangerous to pregnant women, has claimed 4 lives so far, health officials are reporting. The outbreak is now officially traced to tainted cantaloupes that were grown at Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado. Thirty-five people in 10 states have been infected so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The illness have been reported in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia. The deaths were in Colorado, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

The Huffington Post reports that Jensen Farms has recalled its cantaloupes, which were shipped to Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Most of those who have been sickened are elderly, but pregnant women are also at risk of becoming seriously ill and increasing their chances of miscarriage or stillbirth. Pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems are urged to avoid eating cantaloupe, and to throw away any cantaloupe that is suspected of being contaminated.

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