The CDC’s update this morning (22 ill in 5 states, with at least 1 death) indicates that more states may well have sick residents in the Listeria cantaloupe outbreak.  Likely, the CDC is awaiting information on the genetic fingerprint of the bacteria that has infected an untold number of residents in those “other states.”

Montana, among others, may well have 2 cases to add to the list sometime soon.  According to the Clark Fork Chronicle,

Department of the Public Health and Human Services officials have identified two cases of listeriosis in Montana residents who reside in two different Montana counties, Gallatin and Yellowstone.

Local and state health officials in Montana are investigating both cases for connections to a cluster of listeriosis cases in five other states that are possibly tied to consumption of cantaloupe. One case, in Yellowstone County, as been definitively linked to the outbreak and the other is awaiting further testing.

While the investigation is continuing to identify the exact source of the illness, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending that persons at high risk for listeriosis, including older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women, do not eat cantaloupes coming from the Rocky Ford region of Colorado. At present, at least 17 ill persons in six states have been linked to the outbreak.

At this time, DPHHS is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine distribution of the fruit in Montana. Until more is known regarding Montana’s cases and the distribution of the product, health officials are recommending not consuming cantaloupe from the Rocky Ford region of Colorado.