COLUMUBUS -- Health officials are urging people to dispose of multiple kinds of special cheese products linked to a multi-state listeria outbreak.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, the suspected products are Les Frères, Petit Frère and Petit Frère with Truffles. Each product is made by Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company, a Wisconsin producer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of July 3, 2013, five people infected with the same strain of listeriosis have been identified in four Midwestern states and the total includes one death.
There are no deaths in Ohio but a 52-year-old Cuyahoga County woman was hospitalized and her illness has been linked to the outbreak strain.
Listeriosis infection can cause serious illness, particularly to vulnerable populations including newborns, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.
Listeriosis symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions. Symptoms often begin three weeks after infection, but can take anywhere from three to 70 days.
Approximately 30 cases of listeria occur in Ohio each year.
"Don't take chances with your health," said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, director of the Ohio Department of Health. "Consumers should check their homes for these brands of cheeses and should throw them away. If you are experiencing symptoms, please contact your health care provider immediately."
On July 3, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company voluntarily recalled the products and sent notices to retailers, restaurants and other food service operators advising them to pull the products and not sell them until further information is available.
The number of ill persons identified by state are: Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Minnesota (2), and Ohio (1).
Ill persons range in age from 31 years to 67 years.
Dates for ill persons' diagnoses ranged from May 20, 2013 to June 17, 2013.