Health officials on Monday confirmed that the elderly Baton Rouge woman who died Oct. 2 from listeria had contracted the infection from tainted cantaloupe linked to several deaths nationwide.
Epidemiologists with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals determined Elaine F. Babcock was infected with the same strain of listeria found in the recalled cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Colorado, according to a department release.
This is second death confirmed to have been caused by the cantaloupe from Jensen Farms. An 81-year-old Shreveport woman’s death was linked to the cantaloupes Oct. 7.
Louisiana was one of three states added to the recall list on Sept. 29 — two weeks after the initial recall covering 17 states.
The cantaloupe from Jensen’s Farms has been linked to more than 80 illnesses and as many as 17 deaths in 19 states.
Listeria is a bacterial infection that is particularly hazardous to older adults, those with compromised immune systems, pregnant women and newborns.
Those in high-risk groups who have eaten cantaloupe in the past four weeks should contact their physicians if they experience symptoms including fever, muscle aches, nausea or diarrhea.