Frontera cantaloupe listeria outbreak.jpgIt was announced today that the death of a man in his 80s from the western part of Nebraska has been confirmed to be linked to the multistate outbreak of listeriosis infections from cantaloupes

“Analysis shows that the strains of listeria that are being investigated in Colorado match the one identified with this individual,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Division of Public Health.

The multi-state outbreak of listeriosis has been linked to Rocky Ford cantaloupe. The FDA has announced a voluntary recall of cantaloupe from Jensen Farms of Granada, Colorado.

Including this death, Nebraska has had six confirmed cases of listeriosis and all appear to be associated with an outbreak connected to Colorado-grown cantaloupe. The elderly can suffer serious consequences from listeriosis and all of the ill adults in Nebraska are elderly. All have been or are currently hospitalized.

 “If you believe you have cantaloupe from Jensen Farms, discard it,” said Dr. Schaefer.

With the tragic death of the Nebraska man, the death toll from the listeria outbreak will certainly rise beyond the current official count of 8.  It is expected that the CDC will confirm Monday or Tuesday that at least 12 deaths are associated with the cantaloupe outbreak: Colorado: 2 deaths, Kansas: 2 deaths, Maryland: 1 death, Missouri: 1 death, Nebraska: 1 death, New Mexico: 4 deaths and Oklahoma: 1 death.