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Listeria outbreak in Denmark has now claimed 12 lives in 12 months

Bad 'rullepølse' probably the culprit say food authorities


The food product authorities have closed down the sandwich meat producer near Copenhagen that they believe is the cause of the outbreak (Photo: Colourbox)

August 12, 2014
15:46

by Christian Wenande


Since September last year, 12 people have died of listeria and a further eight have been infected after consuming some bad ‘rullepølse’ sandwich meat.

The food product authorities Fødevarestyrelsen suspect that the bad meat originated from Jørn A Rullepølser in Hedehusene near Copenhagen and have closed down the producer.

The 20 infected patients consist of eleven women and nine men aged 43-89 from various parts of Denmark, according to the national serum institute Statens Seruminstitut.

“From September 2013 until today, 20 patients have been registered suffering from listeriosis, which is an aspect of the outbreak,” Statens Seruminstitut wrote in a press release.

“Most cases have however occurred recently. In June, July, and August, 15 cases have been registered alone.”

READ MORE: Low risk of Ebola outbreak in Denmark

Long incubation times
Similar to previous cases, the 12 people who died also suffered from other serious illnesses and their deaths cannot completely be attributed to a listeria infection, Statens Seruminstitut stated.

Patients suffering from listeria, which often manifests itself as a blood poisoning or meningitis, are often admitted to hospital with symptoms that include fever, nausea and eventually diarrhoea and vomiting. The mortality rate is about 25 percent.

The incubation time for listeriosis is between one and 70 days (usually seven to 21 days) and the long incubation times often make it difficult to locate the infection source.

About 50 cases of listeriosis are registered in Denmark every year.



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