Cantaloupe is the like source of Colorado’s Listeria outbreak which has been identified in nine cases in several states.

There are currently nine cases linked to a multistate investigation, which includes two potentially related cases in Texas and one in Nebraska, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said on Friday.

Federal agencies are coordinating with state and public agencies on the investigation. All nine of Colorado’s confirmed cases consumed cantaloupe, although no specific source of the product has been identified.

All of the ill people in Colorado were hospitalized and two have died. However one of the deaths is not among the nine cases which are part of the multistate investigation.


Symptoms of listeriosis can include fever and muscle aches, and can also include diarrhea, headache, stiff neck, confusion and convulsions the Department said. The illness can cause miscarriage and stillbirths.

Antibiotics given promptly can cure the illness, although even with prompt treatment some infections result in death, particularly in older people or those with serious medical problems.

Confirmed Cases

The confirmed Listeria cases in Colorado are in nine counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld. Ages of the people involved range from the 30s to the 90s, with the average age being 84. The majority are female.

“While the investigation into the source of the Listeria outbreak is continuing, it is prudent for people who are at high risk for Listeria infection to avoid consumption of cantaloupe,” said Dr. Chris Urbina, chief medical officer and head of the CDPHE.

At Risk Group

People at risk for listeriosis include age 60 and older, those with weakened immune systems from transplant or certain chronic diseases, immunosuppressive therapies or medication, and pregnant women.

Healthy adults rarely develop the illness.

Decreasing Risk

People can also decrease their risk if they avoid deli meats unless they are reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, refrigerated pate or meat spreads, refrigerated smoked seafood, and soft cheeses, unless they are made with pasteurized milk.