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Indiana’s Listeriosis Cases May Not Be Over

October 13, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Hoosiers are not totally out of the woods when it comes to the national listeriosis outbreak. Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Gregory Larkin says they could have eaten infected cantaloupe a month ago and not yet be showing symptoms.

"The incubation period can be several days to a week to several months, before people even know they have the infection."

To date, one Hoosier has died and two have been sickened by listeria bacteria. Larkin says the specific bacteria that made the Hoosiers sick is being identified by the lab.

"When the fingerprinting of the bacteria is completed, we will be able to determine whether or not it is related to the cantaloupe distribution."

The elderly, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are most at risk for becoming ill and should be aware of symptoms, Larkin adds.

"Symptoms may be a fever and GI distress. If the fever persists or the diarrhea and the GI distress become persistent or severe, the victim should surely contact a physician or health care provider to be checked over."

Cantaloupes from Colorado are blamed for at least 21 deaths and hundreds of non-lethal cases of listeriosis nationwide.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN