Prepackaged caramel apples cause several deaths from bacteria


By Pavan Bellamkonda

Health officials are asking consumers to refrain from purchasing pre-packed caramel apples, as five people died after reportedly eating them.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that the same bacteria strain listeria has caused 28 illnesses of which 26 are hospitalized. Five among the hospitalized have died. Listeriosis was the main cause of the death in four of the cases. Nonetheless,  one of the five patients,  despite being infected by listeria, might have been killed by other causes. Two of the dead were from Minnesota and one from Texas.  The others have not yet been confirmed.

The CDC says that about 8 in 10 that were stricken by the disease reported consuming commercially made prepacked caramel apples before the illness. Meningitis connected to the listeria was also reported in three of the sickened children.  All three children are still alive and receiving treatment.

A CDC epidemiologist, Christopher Braden, stated that the bacteria was rapidly evolving.  Listeria outbreaks can be can be more deadly than other pathogenic outbreaks like E.coli or salmonella. A 2011 outbreak of listeria connected to Colorado cantaloupe killed 33 people.

Listeria is a foodborne disease that can be treated with antibiotics. It usually does not cause serious illness to healthy people. The symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea.

The sicknesses were reported between October 17th and November 27th. The CDC believes there is a possibility that other ailments could have affected the victims since then.

CDC officials are trying to track down the particular brands of camel apples that could be involved. The officials advised that anybody who still has possession of packaged caramel apples must dispose of them. The CDC mentioned that the illnesses have occurred in Arizona, California, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.



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