Caramel apples are a favorite treat among many Americans. But, these apples have turned deadly. NBC News has reported five deaths and 28 reports of illness are linked to the sweet snacks across ten different states: Arizona, California, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Healthcare officials know of 28 confirmed cases in which people contracted the same bacteria illness called listeria, and out of the 28, 26 were hospitalized. From those 26, five have died. 83% of the people were interviewed and reported eating the prepackaged apples prior to getting ill. Symptoms include the occasional diarrhea, fever, and muscle aches.
Listeria can be treated relatively easily with patients who are in good health and not at risk. A simple prescription of antibiotics will usually do the trick. But for the more susceptive people, specifically, the elderly and the pregnant- it can be deadlier than salmonella or E.Coli.
While the outbreak started in mid-October, there may still be some still on store shelves, so it is recommended to avoid them until it is confirmed that the germs are gone. No specific brand has been linked to the outbreak. The Center For Disease Control urges consumers to also avoid any variety of the apples, including those with other toppings like candy or nuts, just to be safe.