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Delaware Health Alert Network #319

Feburary 24, 2014 1:45 pm


Health Alert
MULTISTATE LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES CLUSTER

This health alert provides information regarding an ongoing cluster of Listeria monocytogenes in several states.  DPH is issuing this alert out of an abundance of caution, so that health care providers are aware of the possibility that cases may emerge.

Background

The FDA and CDC, along with regional, state, and local partners identified a cluster of Listeria monocytogenes infections, linked to consumption of soft/semi-soft Latin style cheese. One of the manufacturers of this type of cheese is located in Delaware, and that firm is currently cooperating with the FDA and state agencies during this cluster investigation.

As of today, there have been no cases identified in Delaware of Listeria infection associated with this cluster. In addition, as of today, the implicated products have not been identified in Delaware stores; although the investigation is still ongoing and the situation may change rapidly.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause a broad spectrum of disease, ranging from mild gastrointestinal symptoms to serious and sometimes fatal infections, such as miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women, and CNS infection (Listerial meningitis). Those at highest risk of serious complications include very young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and immunocompromised individuals.

Recommendations

  1. Health care professionals should consider testing for Listeria in individuals presenting with compatible syndromes. In addition, while awaiting laboratory confirmation, initiation of empiric antibiotic therapy directed against Listeria should be considered in individuals presenting with CNS infection who may have been exposed to soft/semi-soft cheeses in the preceding months.
  2. Health care professionals should report any confirmed or suspected cases of Listeria to Delaware Division of Public Health, Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology (24/7) at 1-888-295-5156.

Additional Information

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