CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) published the statistical data available for the deadly US cantaloupe listeria outbreak. The good thing is: the outbreak can be considered to be over. The number of deaths would have been higher had it not been for an effective, coordinated response by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local health departments, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Lives were saved because the outbreak was detected, its source was identified, and a national warning was issued – all in just a matter of days.
“It’s the fastest listeria investigation I’ve ever seen,” said Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH, deputy director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, which works to prevent and control foodborne, waterborne, and fungal infections in the United States and globally.
Among persons for whom information was available, reported illness onset ranged from July 31, 2011 through October 27, 2011. Ages ranged from <1 to 96 years, with a median age of 77 years. Most ill persons were over 60 years old. Fifty-eight percent of ill persons were female. Among the 144 ill persons with available information on whether they were hospitalized, 142 (99%) were hospitalized. All statistical data can be found here and the story of the succesful reaction of the official bodies here.