July 20, 2005
A ProMED-mail post

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Date: Wed 20 Jul 2005
From: ProMED-mail promed@promedmail.org
Source: NewsWatch 50 Syracuse, NY [edited]
http: //www.newswatch50.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=76FD5237-6844-4823-8E50-98A6DFF0BBBD
Health officials in the Syracuse area say one of 4 people infected in an outbreak of listeriosis has died. The Onondaga County Health Department says the adult patient died yesterday [19 Jul 2005] due to complications of the rare foodborne bacterial disease.
Authorities established that 3 of the cases that surfaced this month [July 2005] were caused by the same strain of Listeria and that they probably got sick from a single source of contaminated food. The 4th patient surfaced a week later. Investigators are trying to determine whether that case is from the same strain.
Listeriosis can be fatal, but severe symptoms are unusual in healthy adults and children. The disease most often affects pregnant women, newborn babies, or people with weakened immune systems. In 1998, 16 people died in a multistate outbreak of listeriosis linked to contaminated hot dogs and deli meats.
[Fatal listeriosis, predominantly meningitis, generally occurs in individuals with defects in cellular immune function. This includes patients with organ transplantation or malignancies on therapy. Disease may occur in apparently normal hosts, however, usually in the elderly. Most sporadic cases of listeriosis are thought to be part of a foodborne cluster which may not be recognized. – Mod.LL]