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More Victims Counted in Listeria Outbreak Linked to Ricotta

Three more illnesses have been counted in the Listeria outbreak linked to ricotta cheese imported from Italy by a New-York based distributor, bringing the total number of people sickened to 18. All victims have been hospitalized.

Forever Cheese of Long Island City, NY has recalled all lots of its Ricotta Salata Frescolina cheese over the course of the past month after the product was linked to a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes.

The cheese, which was distributed to wholesalers and retailers, who then sold it in AL, CA, CO, CT, D.C., FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, TX, UT, VA and WA has now been linked to 18 illnesses in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Three victims have died.

Two of the newly reported illnesses were in New Jersey and one was in Pennsylvania, according to the update published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The updated number of cases by state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (1), District of Columbia (1), Maryland (3), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (1), and Washington (1).

Symptoms of Listeria infection include fever, chills, severe headache, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea and muscle aches. Those at a higher risk of severe illness include the elderly, individuals with a compromised immune system and pregnant women, who risk miscarriage or stillbirth.

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