WICHITA, Kansas – Listeria can be a deadly threat. Five Kansans were sickened from the bacteria in the last year after they ate contaminated ice cream. Three of them died.
So is the threat ongoing for Kansans?
“I think it’s hard to tell at this point and time. Certainly, we are in that 70 day window that people could have consumed those contaminated ice cream and show symptoms,” said Sara Belfry, Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
RELATED LINK | Centers for Disease Control Listeria
The department keeps track of the outbreak by reports from medical practitioners.
“Health care providers report to us about any of the reportable diseases that are specifically listed in statute. Listeria is one of those illnesses. So they must report that disease within 48 hours.”
The KDHE updates those numbers every Tuesday.
Health officials stress there is only one way for the listeria bacteria to get you sick.
“As long as you’re not consuming those products that are contaminated with listeria, you will not contract listeria.”
While the Blue Bell products are no longer sold, the KDHE has no power to keep track where they were sold.
Of course, if you bought any of the affected items, you are the one responsible for getting rid of them.
“It’s really important that we get the message out that if you have any of these recalled items in your freezer, go ahead and throw those away and to not consume those products.”
KDHE tells us the last listeria cases were reported in January.
They’re not sure if the three people who died contracted it in January, or earlier.
KSN will keep tabs with the Kansas Health Department. They will have an update on the total number of cases tomorrow.