July 20, 2005
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — County health officials say one of the four people infected with listeriosis has died due to complications of the food-borne bacterial disease.
The adult patient died Tuesday but the person’s name and age are being withheld to protect the victim’s family, said Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Cynthia Morrow.
County health officials determined three of the cases that surfaced this month were caused by the same strain of listeria. Morrow said it appeared the three probably got sick from a single source of contaminated food. The fourth patient surfaced a week later, and investigators are trying to determine whether that case is from the same strain, she said.
The source of the bacteria has not been determined. Tracking the source is difficult because the disease incubates for up to 70 days before the person gets sick, Morrow said.
Listeriosis can be fatal, but severe symptoms are unusual in healthy adults and children. The disease most often affects pregnant women, newborns 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, including a 75-year-old Liverpool woman.