By Lucy Buglass
If you’re heading to the Andalusia region of Spain, tourists are being warned about a listeria outbreak that already has 150 confirmed cases.
In addition to this, there have also been 500 suspected cases where authorities are waiting on test results to confirm whether or not it is listeria.
A health alert has been declared in the city of Seville, following the confirmation of several cases across the city. A 90-year-old woman also died as a result of listeria.
Most declared cases have been in the Andalusia region, including popular holiday resort Costa del Sol. This also covers the resorts of Marbella, Torremolinos and Fuengirola, as well as the Gibraltar area.
Listeria is a rare bacterial infection caused by contaminated food, and it can be deadly. It’s usually found in dairy products, pre-packed sandwiches and processed meats.
The Andalusia health ministry has warned that more cases will emerge over the next few days, due to the fact “the incubation period is very variable, it goes from a few days from the moment of consumption to 70 days”.
Andalusia is the most effected region, with 132 patients at present. But cases have also been recorded in Spain’s capital, Madrid, as well as the regions of Extremadura, Aragon and Catalonia.
Unfortunately, local authorities have been criticised about the time it took to get lab results confirming it was listeria.
But a spokesman for the authorities has said: “We are perfectly controlling adverse effects.
"Could it have been done faster? Well, I don't know, but I do know that when the positive result came to us on August 14, the alert was automatically decreed, the protocols for primary and hospital care were opened and assistance began.
“That's the important thing and also to take care of patients; that's what we focus on."
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