13 deaths linked to Danish listeria outbreak

Copenhagen - Danish authorities said on Tuesday that 13 people have now died of the bacterial disease listeriosis, which was recently traced to contaminated deli meat products.

The Danish State Serum Institute (SSI) said a total of 24 people have been infected in the current listeria outbreak since it was first reported a week ago.

The earliest case dates back to September 2013, but most have been registered since June. Four additional cases were being analyzed, the institute said.

The patients, aged between ages 43 and 89, suffered from severe underlying medical conditions. Listeriosis symptoms include fever, muscle aches and diarrhoea.

A week ago, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration suspended the Danish firm that produced the suspected food items, including a kind of rolled deli sausage and other sausage products.

Cold meat products made by the firm have also been recalled.

Unlike some other germs, listeria bacteria can grow in the cold temperature of a refrigerator.

The elderly, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are among the main risk groups for infections caused by Listeria monocytogenes, the bacteria that causes the disease. No pregnant women were reported infected in the current outbreak