Health Department Confirms Three Adult Fatalities in Listeria Outbreak in Washington State

On July 21, the Washington State Department of Health reported an outbreak of Listeria, which claimed the lives of two adult females and one adult male.

Among the five adults affected by severe Listeria monocytogenes infections, all over the age of 60, three tragically succumbed to the illness. Notably, the outbreak is not currently listed as one of the Health Department’s active hazards.

According to the Health Department’s statement, all five infected individuals had compromised immune systems. Their illnesses occurred between February 27 and June 30, as reported by Fox News.

Listeria is a grave infection commonly contracted by consuming food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Among the five infected individuals, four were from Pierce County, with the remaining case reported in Thurston County.

The Washington State Department of Health is diligently investigating these infections, with support from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, according to a report by The New York Post.

“WA DOH is working with Pierce and Thurston County local health jurisdictions to gather information from interviews with patients and their families to help identify any common exposures,” the health department statement said.

According to the statement, the affected individuals were likely infected by a common food source, as genetic fingerprinting results have linked the infections to a single origin.

Data provided by the CDC indicates that around 1,600 people in the U.S. contract listeriosis annually, leading to approximately 260 fatalities.

Those at the highest risk of contracting listeriosis include pregnant women, newborn babies, adults aged 65 and older, and individuals with weakened immune systems.