Multistate listeria outbreak linked to deli meats and cheeses

Image 1 of 2

(FOX 5 NY file)

Health authorities are investigating a listeria outbreak in four states that appears to be linked to deli-sliced meats and cheeses, the CDC reported.

As of April 15, eight people in four states—Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania—were infected by this outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium, dating back to November 2018, the CDC said. One person in Michigan died.

Listeria infection can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. However, infections in pregnant women can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and more, according to the CDC, and infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems can very serious and sometimes fatal.

Health officials identified the strain in this outbreak from sliced meat samples and deli counters at several stores in New York and Rhode Island.

"This outbreak is a reminder that people at higher risk for severe Listeria infection should handle deli-sliced meats and cheeses carefully to prevent illness," the CDC said. "Pregnant women and their newborns, adults age 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick with listeriosis."