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Death toll in cantaloupe outbreak rises to 8

Sep 21, 2011 6:35:00 PM - thestate.com
Federal health officials say the death toll has risen to eight in an outbreak of listeria traced to Colorado-grown cantaloupes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that a person in Maryland has died from eating the tainted produce. Four other deaths were reported in New Mexico, two in Colorado and one in Oklahoma.

The CDC said 55 people in 14 states have now been confirmed as sickened from eating the cantaloupes. On Monday, the CDC reported four deaths and 35 illnesses in 10 states.

The death count - the highest in a known outbreak since tainted peanuts were linked to nine deaths almost three years ago - could go even higher. The CDC said illnesses in several other states potentially connected to the outbreak were under investigation.

The illnesses have been reported in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Colorado has the most illnesses with 14 sickened, followed by New Mexico with 10, Texas with nine and Oklahoma with eight.

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