Texas Cases Prompt Blue Bell Reminder – April 9, 2015
Health officials urge consumers to be aware of the Blue Bell Creameries recall and not to eat any product made at the company’s Oklahoma facility following listeria concerns.
Three cases of Listeriosis in Texas have been identified as part of the outbreak and are related to products made at the company’s Oklahoma plant. The Texas cases were hospitalized for unrelated problems before they developed Listeriosis between 2011 and 2014. The company has suspended its operation at the Oklahoma plant.
Retailers are urged not to sell or serve products from the Oklahoma plant. They can be identified by checking for letters “O,” “P,” “Q,” “R,” “S” and “T” following the code date printed on the bottom of the product package. Consumers should discard or return Blue Bell products with those letters.
Listeriosis is an infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms usually start within several days, though they can develop up to two months after eating contaminated food. Symptoms may include diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms followed by fever or muscle aches.
In mid-March, five Kansas cases were identified and linked to products made on a single production line at the company’s Brenham plant. The Brenham production line connected to the Kansas cases is no longer being used.
Advice to Consumers
DSHS Health Advisory
Flu Surveillance – April 10, 2015
DSHS’s latest flu surveillance report classifies the geographic distribution of flu activity in Texas as “local,” indicating elevated flu-like-illness and recent laboratory-confirmed evidence of flu within a region of the state. Additionally, the intensity of influenza-like illness, measuring the proportion of doctor visits prompted by flu-like illness, is currently classified as “low.”
DSHS tracks the number of pediatric deaths due to the influenza. This season, 13 Texas children have died from the flu.
DSHS urges everyone six months old and older to get vaccinated against the flu. It is particularly important for pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions, because people in those groups are at a greater risk of severe complications if they do get the flu.
Latest Available DSHS Weekly Flu Surveillance Report
Historical DSHS Flu Surveillance Reports