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Two Dallas County Listeria Cases Linked To Recalled Cantaloupes

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two recent cases of listeria among Dallas County residents did come from the same source that spurred a multistate investigation earlier in the month, Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

On September 13, federal health officials issued a warning for Rocky Ford cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo. after linking an outbreak of 15 listeria cases nationwide to the popular melons. The Center for Disease Control said that number has since grown to 35 over 10 states.

In Dallas County, officials said an 81-year-old and a 75-year-old were hospitalized with listeriosis, a serious – and sometimes fatal – infection typically caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Lysteria monocytogenes.

Older adults, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weak immune systems are most susceptible to the infection.

The two Dallas County victims have both recovered, officials said. Their identities will not be revealed because of federal privacy laws.

Health officials are also investigating two other county listeria cases to see if they too were caused by the Rocky Ford cantaloupes. Officials did not comment further on those.

The cantaloupes in question were shipped from the farm to 17 states between July 29 and Sept. 10 of this year. Retailers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area received the melons earlier this month, but they've since been recalled and removed from the shelves, officials said.

"Any person who develops symptoms of gastrointestinal illness, accompanied by fever, who may have ingested cantaloupe from Jensen Farms should seek medical attention," Health Department spokeswoman Blanca Cantu wrote in an email.

In New Mexico, the listeria outbreak killed a 93-year-old man, a 61-year-old woman and a 63-year-old man, the Associated Press reported earlier this month. It also claimed the life of two Colorado residents, who have not been identified.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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