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Death Toll from Listeria-Contaminated Cantaloupes Grows

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Public health officials said Tuesday that the country is in the midst of the deadliest outbreak of food-borne illness in more than a decade.

So far, 72 illnesses -- including 13 deaths -- have been linked to cantaloupes contaminated with listeria that came from Jensen Farms in Colorado, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Tuesday.

Illnesses from the recalled melons, which were sold under the name Rocky Ford cantaloupes, have been reported in 18 states; deaths have been reported in Colorado (2), Kansas (1), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (4), Oklahoma (1), and Texas (2).

The CDC says it expects to see more cases of listeriosis next month "because patients can develop listeriosis up to 2 months after eating contaminated food."

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