Top 5 Disease Outbreaks From 2018

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Long Phung Food Products has issued a recall of its ready-to-eat pork products due to a Listeria outbreak, which were distributed nationally across the US.

4 people were hospitalised for Listeriosis. The CDC indicated that it was likely caused by consuming Long Phung anchovy-marinated pork patty rolls manufactured between May 21 and November 16 and labelled with establishment number “EST. 13561.”

No deaths have been reported as of yet. Listeria and Listeriosis is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning in the US, and is especially dangerous for anyone with a weakened immune system.

High-Risk People of a Listeria Outbreak include:

listeria
  • Small children/ babies Children and babies are at  risk of food poisoning which is usually due to  underdeveloped immune systems and a tendency to put anything in their mouths. Children like to explore their surroundings and will handle any object that is within their grasp. The risk with this is that they more than likely contain bacteria which then enter the child’s digestive system. Once there they thrive and infect this area which leads to illnesses such as food poisoning.
  • Pregnant moms Pregnancy takes a toll on your body, draining resources and nutrients which go to our unborn child. This drain lowers the immune system.
  • The elderly Older people are at high risk of food poisoning, mainly due to the fact that their immune systems are less capable of dealing with illness and disease. Older people often suffer from a chronic disease which can increase the risk of food poisoning.
  •  Immunocompromised, especially HIV infections and cancer patients. This means that the immune system is less able to fight off bacteria which cause disease and infection. Individuals in this category have the greatest risk of severe illness and death from food poisoning.

What is Listeriosis?

A food-borne illness primarily caused by a bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes. You will likely hear that  L.monocytogenes is an environmental pathogen that occurs virtually throughout the environment: soil, water, animals etc. So not really useful information. A Listeria outbreak is usually only a problem when it comes to food.

Symptoms

listeria symptoms

Mild symptoms much like other food poisoning symptoms, typically causes gastroenteritis meaning fever and diarrhoea.

Severe symptoms can infect other parts of the body : 

  • Fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting, sometimes preceded by diarrhoea.

Although pregnant women typically experience only flu-like symptoms, the danger to the developing fetus is high. Infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, premature delivery or stillbirth.

Where Are The Affected Areas of The Listeria Outbreak?

The illness has affected people in Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Michigan, but the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said it is concerned that families and businesses may have stored frozen products. Typical symptoms that follow include headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle pain, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.