Listeria

Eight people in several states have been hospitalized with listeria infections, including one person who died, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The infections of the bacterium listeria monocytogenes have been reported in Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, the CDC said Wednesday.

The death was reported in Michigan, according to the CDC.

The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service and the US Food and Drug Administration are monitoring the bacteria strain.

Those who fell ill said in interviews they ate different types and brands of products, including meats and cheese bought from and sliced at various deli counters, the CDC said. The listeria specimens from those people were collected from November 13, 2016 to March 4 of this year.

The strain was also identified in samples taken from meat sliced at a deli and from deli counters in several stores, the CDC said.

Officials have not identified the supplier of the deli products, or the specific locations where the strain was found.

Listeria bacteria is especially concerning in pregnant women because they can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or a life-threatening infection in a newborn. The elderly and individuals with weakened immune systems are also at risk for listeria infection.

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion and loss of balance. Patients may also experience diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms and convulsions. It can be treated with antibiotics.

The CDC says the outbreak is a reminder that deli products, such as sliced meats and cheeses, can have Listeria bacteria. People who are at higher risk for Listeria infections should avoid eating lunch meats, cold cuts, or other deli meats, unless they are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot just before serving.

Last month, Henry Avocado Corporation announced it was voluntarily recalling California-grown avocados sold in bulk in six states due to potential contamination with listeria monocytogenes.

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