Spain posts international health alert for listeria outbreak
Electron micrograph of a Listeria bacterium in tissue (CDC/ Dr. Balasubr Swaminathan; Peggy Hayes)
MADRID -- Spain has issued international health alerts in light of a widening outbreak of listeria from pork meat that has affected 150 people and killed one person.
Health Minister Maria Luisa Carcedo said Thursday alerts had been posted to the European Union and the World Health Organization given the possibility that some tourists may be affected.
The outbreak started Aug. 15 in the southern Andalusia region and claimed its first victim, a 90-year-old woman, Monday.
The product blamed for the outbreak is a stringy cooked meat sold under the brand "La Mecha."
Authorities have closed the supplier plant and are testing all its products.
Listeria is a bacteria that usually causes mild illness but can be dangerous to pregnant women or people with weak immune systems.