As many as 14 people are reported to have died as a result of a listeria outbreak in contaminated cantaloupes, according to various published reports.
Besides the eight people confirmed dead as a result of the outbreak last week, state and local health departments in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming have noted six more likely dead as a result of the tainted melons, according to msnbc.com.
The number of deaths is only likely to grow since, as reported on USA Today, the incubation period for listeria is considerably long, and the fatality rate is high for groups like pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
The Food and Drug Administration said last week that it had traced the outbreak to Colorado-based Jensen Farms, according to USA Today.
Contaminated cantaloupes are believed to have been shipped to Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
The last major listeria outbreak, affecting contaminated hot dogs, killed 21 people in 1998.