Sweden listeria outbreak shows decline / News / The Foreigner

The Foreigner Sweden listeria outbreak shows decline. Three people died during an outbreak of listeria in Sweden but there is optimism this has now subsided, health authorities say. “We have had no reports [of listeria] in the last three weeks so we hope that the outbreak is now over, even though it is a little too early to tell just yet,” Viktor Dahl, doctor and epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency of Sweden told The Foreigner, Thursday. Authorities believe there is a common source of the outbreak.

listeriamonocytogenes, norway, elderly, pregnant, meningitis, mattilsynet, sweden



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Sweden listeria outbreak shows decline

Published on Friday, 28th February, 2014 at 09:48 under the news category, by Emma Åsberg.

Three people died during an outbreak of listeria in Sweden but there is optimism this has now subsided, health authorities say.



“We have had no reports [of listeria] in the last three weeks so we hope that the outbreak is now over, even though it is a little too early to tell just yet,” Viktor Dahl, doctor and epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency of Sweden told The Foreigner, Thursday.

Authorities believe there is a common source of the outbreak.

Whilst the deaths cannot be 100 per cent confirmed to have been caused by the bacteria, 27 cases of the same type of strain have been reported throughout the country.

Four have died out of these cases, but again, listeria has not been confirmed as the cause of death. This is because most of the affected are elderly and have other diseases such as cancer

The outbreak has been allegedly linked to products produced by the Scan factory, which has recalled many of its items.

Scan has also been forced to close a factory in Kristianstad in southern Sweden’s Skåne County, where high quantities of the bacteria were found, though this facility has not been confirmed as the source.

“Naturally, we are continuing with our work to find the source of the contamination,” Doctor Dahl added.

Sweden’s National Food Agency has warned people with a weak immune system, the elderly and pregnant women to avoid this type of food, as they are the most vulnerable.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) advises people who travel across the border to take the same precautions.

There are guidelines in Norway to prevent the spreading of listeria, and so far no cases have been confirmed.

Facts about Listeria:

  • The most common source of the bacteria is vacuum sealed cold meat products such as luncheon meats, cooked and smoked ham, pâtés, smoked or cured salmon, and blue cheeses.
  • Listeria is rare and usually harmless for healthy people, who often show now symptoms at all but can be deadly in weaker individuals. It can then cause blood poisoning and meningitis.
  • It can result in miscarriage or severe injuries for the baby for pregnant women.
  • The bacteria dies if heated to temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius but survives cold and even freezing temperatures.
  • Listeria is rare and mainly affects the elderly and people who are pregnant or have a weak immune system. Listeria can be treated with antibiotics.
  • The incubation period for listeria is long – 3-70 days – which makes it particularly difficult to diagnose.
  • Listeria has become much more common in Norway since 1995, according to a report by Ivar Hellesnes for the Food Safety Authority (in Norwegian).
  • For the first time-ever, a report by the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) and the Agency of Public Health saw that Norwegian farmed salmon could be a possible source of listeria.


Published on Friday, 28th February, 2014 at 09:48 under the news category, by Emma Åsberg.

This post has the following tags: listeriamonocytogenes, norway, elderly, pregnant, meningitis, mattilsynet, sweden.





  
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