The state authorities are investigating a Listeria outbreak related to fresh and soft cheeses that have sickened seven people in Connecticut.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state authorities are reportedly investigating a Listeria outbreak related to fresh and soft cheeses that have sickened seven people in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and Virginia.

With six persons getting sick just this year, the CDC said these experts tallied the diseases from Oct. 20, 2020, to Jan. 22, 2021. There were no deaths recorded.

According to the department, the real number of infected people in an epidemic is greater than the number recorded as certain patients survive without medical treatment and are never screened for Listeria.

The CDC has yet to recognize the brand of soft cheeses in the Hispanic style, so it cautioned individuals, especially those at higher risk, not to eat them before more knowledge is available.

According to the CDC, state authorities are now investigating and analyzing the Hispanic-style soft cheese samples obtained from markets where ill patients report consuming them.

A food protection warning regarding the multi-state outbreak of listeria infections related to these soft cheeses was also released on Friday by the health agency.

These cheese items ought to be avoided by people at greater risk for serious listeria diseases, such as pregnant people or those over 65 years of age, the CDC said.

“People who are not at higher risk of severe illness should make sure the Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses (like queso fresco) they eat have labels that say, ‘Made with pasteurized milk,'” the CDC said in a news release Friday.

Symptoms of Listeria

They can contract a disease called listeriosis when people consume food infected with Listeria monocytogenes, identified by the FDA as a pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria found in humid habitats, soil, water, rotting vegetation, and livestock.

The disorder primarily affects pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and newborns and older adults. People don’t generally get ill with listeriosis in other classes.

According to a CNN report, Listeria may cause common food poisoning symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea.

Pregnant persons usually only undergo fever, nausea, and body aches, according to the CDC. Though, infection with Listeria during pregnancy may contribute to abortion, stillbirth, early delivery, or life-threatening infant infection.

In addition to fever and body aches, the health agency said certain individuals who are not pregnant might suffer headache, sore neck, confusion, lack of balance, and convulsions.

“Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you have any symptoms of severe Listeria illness after eating Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses.”

How to Prevent Listeria Outbreak

There are three very basic steps you should do to help avoid Listeria, according to FDA:

1. Chill Correctly 

The correct temperatures hamper listeria’s development. Put a refrigerator thermometer in the refrigerator and, if necessary, change the temperature regulation in the fridge. Place a second thermometer in the refrigerator.

Your refrigerator should be recorded at or below 40°F (4°C) and your freezer at 0 °F (-18°C).

2. Quickly Consume Ready-to-Eat Food

Consume the refrigerated goods on or before the ‘Use By’ date on the box. The longer they are kept in the refrigerator, the greater the chance for Listeria to spread.

3. Keep the Refrigerator Clean!

Regularly clean the refrigerator.

Wipe away the spills quickly. This is especially important because Listeria has no room to flourish and then spread to other foods.

Hot water and a gentle liquid dishwashing detergent clean the inside walls and shelves, scrub, then dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Originally published at The Science Times