Patient recovering as second case of listeriosis confirmed in New Brunswick

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FREDERICTON A second case of listeriosis has been confirmed in New Brunswick.

Public health officials said Wednesday an elderly man in his 90s is recovering.

"The gentleman is in hospital but he is doing very well," said Dr. Eilish Cleary, acting chief medical officer of health. "He is recovering and is expected to be discharged very shortly."

Cleary said the patient lives in a private residence, unlike the first victim who lived in a nursing home where tainted meat had been served.

The first victim, an elderly woman, died.

Specimens from the second case have been sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory to determine if it is the same strain of Listeria associated with the recall of products from a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto.

This is the third confirmed case of listeriosis in Atlantic Canada since the outbreak began last month. However, a recent non-fatal case in Prince Edward Island was not linked to the recall of deli meats by Maple Leaf Foods.

Dr. Lamont Sweet, the Island's chief health officer, said it's not known how the male patient in that case came in contact with the Listeria bacteria.

New Brunswick may soon have another case.

During a news conference Wednesday, Cleary said another person is ill with symptoms that could be Listeria.

"We're not sure yet if it's listeriosis or not," she said. "The symptoms of listeriosis are similar to many other conditions, so we are investigating it."

Typically, there are several cases of listeriosis reported across Canada each year.

Cleary said New Brunswick health officials have been working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Public Health Agency of Canada since the outbreak started.

"Together, we have notified hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools and other higher-risk institutions with respect to the recall," Cleary said.

"I would like to remind the public to be vigilant about products on the recall list, and to go through their fridges and freezers to remove and throw out any of these food items."

The outbreak so far has been associated with the deaths of 18 Canadians.

Listeriosis is most commonly contracted from eating food contaminated with the Listeria bacteria. Symptoms include persistent fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, cramps, muscle aches, diarrhea and/or stiff neck.

Illness from Listeria usually occurs from two to 30 days after consuming food contaminated with the bacteria, but can occur up to 70 days later.

The bacteria is of particular concern to the very young, the elderly, pregnant women and people with poor immune systems.




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