Seventy-two people from 18 states, so far, are confirmed to have been infected with the deadly Listeria bacteria linked to Colorado-grown cantaloupes as of Monday.
Last Friday, health authorities in Kansas and Maryland reported that there were two deaths among the then-eight known cases of listeriosis in the state, occurring between Sept. 17 and Sept. 18.
Five of those eight cases were confirmed as linked to the national outbreak tied to the Listeria-infected cantaloupe.
The latest case of this rare yet serious food-borne illness arose in early September.
The death toll is currently at 13.
Here are nine more states that could be in danger of suffering listeria infections or possible deaths:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed Jensen Farms as the culprit of the Rocky Ford-brand tainted cantaloupes, which were shipped from July 29 through Sept. 10 to these states and nine others.
According to CDC, there have been two deaths in Colorado, one in Kansas, one in Maryland, one in Missouri, one in Nebraska, four in New Mexico, one in Oklahoma and two in Texas, as of Monday.
The disease-ridden fruit has sickened a number of residents in 18 states to date.
The CDC reported four deaths in New Mexico and 35 illnesses in 10 states, two deaths were reported in Colorado, and one person has died in Oklahoma.
A week later, the agency said that illnesses grew to 55 people in 14 states from eating the contaminated cantaloupes.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that cantaloupes grown on our farm have been linked to the current listeria outbreak. Our hearts go out to those individuals and their families who have been affected by this terrible situation,” said Jensen Farms in a statement last week.
Illnesses have been reported in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to the CDC.
Listeria infection can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women, people over the age of 60 and those with compromised immune systems, health officials said.
Symptoms of the infection include fever and muscle aches, diarrhea, headaches, stiff neck and confusion, according to the CDC.
Antibiotics are effective in treating the infection in most cases.