The outbreak mainly affecting women and people over 65, WHO said

The outbreak mainly affecting women and people over 65, WHO said

The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed three people have died and more than 200 infected in a large-scale listeria outbreak in Spain.

The outbreak, reported to the WHO by the Spanish authorities on 16 August, has been linked by the WHO to chilled roasted pork meat products manufactured in southern Spain by Seville-based Magrudis Company and sold under the brand name La Mechá.

Most cases have been reported in Andalusia where the Magrudis pork plant is located and the outbreak is mainly affecting women and people over 65, the WHO said. Six women have been reported as having had miscarriages linked to the outbreak.

All products manufactured in the plant since 1 May have been recalled but the WHO warned that because Magrudis' products have a three-month shelf life, there is a likelihood of further cases coming to light in the coming weeks.

The authorities in Andalusia have suspended production of the implicated chilled roasted pork at the plant and ordered the withdrawal of all batches from the market.

Listeriosis is a food-borne bacterial infection which usually causes mild illness and can normally be treated with antibiotics. But in severe cases it can be fatal in pregnant women, babies, the elderly and others with weak immune systems.