As the death toll from a multistate Listeria outbreak linked to contaminated cantaloupes rose to 13 this week, making it the deadliest in a decade, Food and Drug Administration officials have said the number of cases may rise in coming weeks.
"We are seeing more illnesses -- that's the nature of listeriosis," FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said in a briefing Wednesday. "And we will see more cases ... likely through October."
Four strains of Listeria monocytogenes have infected a total of 72 people in 18 states, according to figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The bacterial disease, which can cause symptoms from gastrointestinal issues to convulsions, has been linked to Rocky Ford-brand whole cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Colorado that have since been recalled. It is particularly dangerous for pregnant mothers, older adults and those with compromised immune systems, reporter Eryn Brown explains.