Infected cantaloupes have killed 18 in US

October 4, 2011

Eighteen people have died and 100 people have fallen ill since late July in the United States from eating cantaloupes infected with listeria, health authorities said Tuesday.

Illnesses have been reported in 20 states due to the cantaloupes which came from the Colorado-based Jensen Farms, the said in its latest update.

The prior death toll, announced last week, was 15.

Authorities have warned that the number of cases was certain to rise even though a recall has been issued, because it can take up to two months for symptoms to appear.

The cases mark the United States' worst foodborne disease outbreak in more than a decade.

However, investigators are still trying to figure out how the whole melons became contaminated, in what has been described as the first known outbreak of listeria in cantaloupes.

Listeriosis is particularly dangerous to the elderly, those with weakened immune systems and pregnant women because it can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.

While only cantaloupes from Jensen Farms have been implicated, and none have been shipped outside the United States, the CDC has urged consumers to throw away a melon if they are not sure of its origin.

"Even if some of the has been eaten without becoming ill, dispose of the rest of the cantaloupe immediately. Listeria bacteria can grow in the cantaloupe at room and refrigerator temperatures," the CDC said.

can cause diarrhea, fever and muscle aches, and other flu-like symptoms. In most people, the bacteria spreads from the intestine to the , but it can be treated with antibiotics.

Related Stories

FDA, CDC investigate listeriosis outbreak's source

September 15, 2011

(AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the source of contaminated cantaloupe blamed for a multistate listeriosis outbreak.

Colorado farm says Listeria found in cantaloupe

September 15, 2011

(AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to eat cantaloupes from a southeastern Colorado farm after investigators found a contaminated melon in a store, the first time Listeria has been linked to cantaloupe ...

Killer US cantaloupes expected to infect more people

September 28, 2011

Cantaloupes infected with listeria have sparked the deadliest US foodborne disease outbreak in over a decade and are likely to claim more victims in the weeks ahead, officials said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 04, 2011
Why is it that Americans can't seem to keep dung out of their meat, poison out of their water, and intestinal parasites out of their vegetables?

Perhaps it is because in America industry inspects it's own products.

Another failure of American Capitalism.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.