Listeria outbreak kills four, but is cantaloupe to blame?

cantaloupe, melon
Flickr/Kabsik Park

(CBS/AP) An outbreak of Listeria illness has prompted local officials to send a strong message: If you live in Colorado, and have a weakened immune system, stay away from cantaloupe.

Pictures: Listeria: 7 key questions answered

Health officials from Colorado's Rocky Ford region issued the warning after reports that Listeria infection (listeriosis) killed four people in Colorado and New Mexico.

Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar says the outbreak might not even be caused by cantaloupe, but a contaminated truck or other source.

Officials say they're expecting additional test results this week that might help identify the specific source of the outbreak. Rocky Ford is a major supplier of cantaloupe in the region and farmers in southeast Colorado depend heavily on the crop.

Just who in the area should avoid cantaloupe? What symptoms should people look out for? How is listeriosis treated?

Click here to learn the answers to 7 key questions about Listeria.


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