"Months of dropper cases await us": the listeria outbreak begins to subside after two deaths and more than 200 infected
"The data from the last four days indicates that the inflection of the outbreak has taken place, although it has not yet been completed," explained José Miguel Cisneros, the infectious disease expert who has been acting as spokesman for the Andalusian cabinet to monitor the listeriosis crisis. "The expectation is that the reduction in the number of cases will increase in the coming days to enter a phase with rare cases that can last until the month of October included."
And, indeed, the data of the Andalusian Government allow us to be optimistic: in the last 24 hours, the number of patients admitted to community hospitals has decreased by 20%. While the week started with 108 admitted, today there are only 86 people left.
An outbreak in remission that will still give many new cases
And it is good news because, although yesterday three new cases of infection by the bacteria were confirmed in Seville, the rate of new cases has been reduced significantly. If in the first days of the outbreak around 40 cases were identified daily, during the weekend (with four cases on Saturday and three on Sunday) the (apparent) remission was already appreciated.
Now, as confirmed by the technical cabinet, not only have income been reduced, but infections visited in the emergency department have also decreased (to normal values at this time of year). So, with the products recalled and the alarm going off, everything seems to indicate that we have passed the worst of the crisis.
Something that, as we have repeated several times, does not mean that the outbreak is over. On the one hand, in view of the enormous management chaos by the company and the authorities, we cannot rule out that there are products in private homes that were not properly packaged and labeled. On the other hand, the incubation times for listeria make us wait for a rosary of new cases until, at least, the end of October.
And now that?
In the last hours, as new information appeared about Magrudis, the company that manufactured the products that caused the outbreak, it has become clear that more than a failure or a bad luck blow, what we were dealing with was a whole network. productive that systematically ignored everything to do with food security.
Therefore, as the details that originated the outbreak are clarified, it will be necessary to analyze, reflect and, above all, take measures so that these types of problems do not recur.
During the last years, either by its own commitment or by customer demand, the industry has advanced a lot in self-control. Hazard analyzes, batch recall drills, and safety checks are standard industry practices; but if something shows the case of Magrudis it is that other part of the industry that prefers to be lucky.
Something that, as we have seen, is a time bomb. In conclusion: there is still much to know what is behind the largest listeria outbreak in the history of Spain, but as the trickle of cases continues, more and more voices ask that measures be taken so that confidence in the food system does not collapse as a house of cards.