America Faces The Worst Cantaloupe Outbreak Of The Decade

Washington has confirmed an outbreak of cantaloupe outbreak in the America that could well be the worst of the decade. The listeria disease has victimized as many as 13 people already. The root of the disease is Colorado cantaloupes. This is a food based disease.

On Tuesday, the 27th of September, 2011, health officials from the Center for disease control and prevention said that so far 72 people have been affected by the disease and 13 have lost their lives owing to the fruit. North Dakota, Maryland, California, Florida, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Montana, Indiana, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Winconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming have reported cases of infliction. Further, there have been an additional three deaths that could possibly be linked to the same cause.Deaths have been reported in different American cities of Texas, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas. Three years previously, salmonella virus breakout had claimed a number of lives. The current outbreak has overtaken the salmonella outbreak with regard to number of lives claimed, which was 9 in that case. This has made officials to believe that the outbreak is the worst of the decade.

Two deaths have been reported in Texas while Kansas, Nebraska and Kansas have each reported one death each. Two deaths have occurred in Colorado, New Mexico has reported four deaths and Maryland and Oklahama have reported one death each. All these deaths have been traced to Cantaloupe.  Besides the four deaths in New Mexico, a fifth death that could possibly have taken place due to Cantaloupe is being investigated. More reports of deaths in Kansas and Wyoming have been registered and there is a distinct possibility that the fruit might be the cause in these cases as well.

The disease is spread through the virus listeria, which is similar to E. Coli and salmonella but is supposed to be more dangerous. In 1998, listeria outbreak had taken place in America claiming twenty one lives. The contamination was traced back in that case to Bil Mar Foods products – hotdogs and deli meats. Before 1998, listeria outbreak took place in 1985. This was more severe and claimed 52 lives. Mexican soft cheese was found to the culprit in that case.

Listeria has proved to be selective virus attacking people with weak immune systems. Pregnant women and the elderly are more prone to contracting the disease. The death rate of the disease is high as well since one out of every five who fall victim to the disease dies. The most dangerous aspect about the disease is that the symptoms are not promptly visible. Muscle aches, fever, incapacitation, GI disorders and lose of speech are symptoms and effects of the disease.