It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
A person died of listeriosis in Ottawa Monday and public health officials are probing whether the death is linked to a recent outbreak that has killed 13 people across the country. Dr. Isra Levy, Ottawa's medical officer of health, said the death was the city's first fatal case of listeriosis this year. Listeriosis is a food-borne illness caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. A single strain linked to 13 deaths has been traced to a Maple Leaf Foods meat processing plant in Toronto. Another 38 cases of the disease have been linked to the outbreak and two dozen more were under investigation on Monday, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported. A long list of products made at the plant have been recalled. The Ottawa case was reported to the public health department on Aug. 28. However, further tests are required to determine whether it was caused by the strain that originated from the Toronto plant. Levy said that sporadic cases of listeriosis do occur, and over the past three or four years, there has been about one listeriosis-related death in the city each year.
How great is the risk for listeriosis?
In the United States, an estimated 2,500 persons become seriously ill with listeriosis each year. Of these, 500 die. At increased risk are:
* Pregnant women - They are about 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis. About one-third of listeriosis cases happen during pregnancy.
* Newborns - Newborns rather than the pregnant women themselves suffer the serious effects of infection in pregnancy.
* Persons with weakened immune systems
* Persons with cancer, diabetes, or kidney disease
* Persons with AIDS - They are almost 300 times more likely to get listeriosis than people with normal immune systems.
* Persons who take glucocorticosteroid medications
* The elderly
Healthy adults and children occasionally get infected with Listeria, but they rarely become seriously ill.
Update: September 11, 2008 - 16:00 (EST) The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues to collaborate with provincial and local health authorities in affected provinces, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to investigate cases of Listeriosis with the same genetic fingerprint (strain). The following table indicates the latest number of confirmed and suspected cases of Listeriosis broken down by province.