First fatality noted in Listeria outbreak tied to Hispanic-style soft cheese
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed a new case of Listeria monocytogenes in an outbreak associated with queso fresco made by El Abuelito Cheese Inc, raising the total number of cases to 11.
The CDC also reported the first fatality linked to this outbreak, which was in Maryland. Ten of the case-patients sickened in this outbreak have been hospitalized in four states reporting cases: New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia.
On Feb 19, El Abuelito Cheese Inc., of Paterson, New Jersey, recalled all products containing queso fresco—a Hispanic soft cheese—made at the same facility with a sell-by date of Mar 28. That recall expanded on Feb 27 to include more cheeses that were made or packed at the same facility as the contaminated queso fresco, including quesillo string cheese and requeson ricotta cheese.
Also on Feb 27, the CDC recommended all those at highest risk from illness due to Listeria, including pregnant women, those over 65, and the immunocompromised, to not eat any brand of quesillo or requeson cheeses, because quesillo and requeson cheeses made or packed by El Abuelito Cheese Inc. may have been distributed under other brand names.
"The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses," the CDC said. "This is because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for Listeria. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak."
Mar 1 CDC update
DR Congo reports 3 more Ebola cases
Provincial health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) said yesterday that three more Ebola cases have been confirmed in North Kivu, raising the outbreak total to 11, according to a report from Reuters.
North Kivu Health Minister Eugene Nzanzu Salita said the new cases involve people from Butembo health zone. If added to the World Health Organization (WHO) total, they would be the first cases reported since Feb 22. The DRC first reported this most recent outbreak in early February.
In Guinea's outbreak, the total remains at 17 cases, 7 of them fatal, the WHO's African regional office said yesterday on Twitter. The weekly update from the WHO's African regional office had some details on one of the country's latest cases, involving a person who wasn't a known contact who died in the community and was buried with Ebola precautions in place.
The country's latest outbreak has been under way since the middle of February and is occurring in the same area of southern Guinea where West Africa's massive outbreak of 2014-16 began.
Mar 1 Reuters story
Mar 1 WHO African regional office tweet
Mar 1 WHO African regional office weekly report