Header graphic for print
Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

New Mexico sees as many as 10 Illnesses with 4 deaths related to Listeria

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, since mid-August there have been 10 patients with laboratory-confirmed Listeriosis in New Mxico. 4 of these people have died. To date, 5 of the 10 cases have been linked to the Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Outbreak by DNA fingerprinting.

The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) has identified nine cases of Listeria infection throughout the state with three of these cases resulting in death. Colorado has also had a significant increase in cases of Listeria. Their preliminary results have identified cantaloupe as the likely source of the Listeria outbreak. All 11 of Colorado’s confirmed cases consumed cantaloupe. In New Mexico, all 9 patients had consumed cantaloupe. Other states have also identified Listeria cases that are likely linked to this outbreak. New Mexico’s cases are pending molecular fingerprinting laboratory tests at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to see if they are part of the same outbreak.

All of the ill people in New Mexico have been hospitalized, including the three fatalities. The fatal cases were: a 93-year-old man from Bernalillo County, a 61-year-old female from Curry County, and a 63-year-old man from Bernalillo County. The other hospitalized cases in New Mexico come from Bernalillo, Chaves, Otero, De Baca, and Lea counties. The ill people range in age from the 43 to 96 and include 4 men and 5 women. Illness onset ranges from August 20th to early September.

As of a few moments ago the CDC was still reporting only a total of 22 persons infected with the outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 7 states. The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: Colorado (12), Indiana (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (4), Oklahoma (1), Texas (2), and West Virginia (1). Two deaths have been reported, one in Colorado and one in New Mexico.

The death toll and illness toll is likely to continue to rise.