Listeriosis is an illness characterized by Listeria monocytogenes, a rod-shaped gram-positive bacteria that may enter and multiply inside living tissues. Most patients with Listeria infection have little or no symptoms; when symptoms do appear, they generally include fever, muscular pains, nausea, and diarrhea. More serious symptoms, including meningitis, mental abnormalities, and brain abscesses, may develop in certain patients. It is possible that one can also die when infected with Listeria.
Three persons affected from Delaware, one died from Texas
Three persons have been diagnosed with the infectious disease strain of Listeria monocytogenes as of July 2, 2021, in Delaware and Texas. Illnesses began on various days between April 6, 2021, and June 5, 2021. The infected 3 people from Delaware were taken to the hospital whereas one died in Texas. The 3 people are under conservation now. People were interviewed by state and local public health officials about the meals they ate in the month before they became ill.
However, it is believed that the actual number of individuals infected with the bacteria is certainly larger than the actual number recorded because some people have recovered without being treated properly with medical assistance and are not screened for Listeria. Moreover, it usually takes around three to four weeks for a person to show the symptom and hence the infection may have not been recorded.
Action Taken By CDC’s PulseNet
The CDC’s PulseNet program maintains a national record of bacteria’s DNA fingerprints that cause foodborne illnesses. The technology of whole-genome sequencing is used to do DNA fingerprinting on microorganisms (WGS). Samples from the affected patients were collected and tested for Listeria and the result was similar using WGS which means that the person was affected because they consumed the same food.
What People Should Do
- Precooked chicken should be reheated again until it reaches a temperature of 165°F on the inside.
- Precooked chicken should not be offered chilled or frozen.
- Serve cold meals containing precooked chicken, such as chicken salad, only if the chicken has been warmed before being used in the cold dish.
- Unless it’s canned or shelf-stable, or it’s in a prepared dish like a casserole, one should avoid eating cold-smoked fish.
- Pasteurized milk and milk products, such as soft cheese, ice cream, and yogurt, are recommended.