New Mexico listeria cases include 3 newborn boys

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A handful of listeria illnesses in New Mexico linked to prepackaged caramel apples include three newborn boys who were infected in the womb.

New Mexico Department of Health epidemiologist Paul Ettestad said Friday that the newborns from Bernalillo and Lea counties have recovered. A 9-year-old McKinley County boy and a 42-year-old Bernalillo County man also have recovered after being hospitalized.

Ettestad says the illnesses were reported between late October and mid-November. Officials haven't determined which brands of caramel apples are involved.

Ettestad says the babies developed an infection in the womb after their mothers ate caramel apples, causing some premature births.

Listeria is a foodborne bacterial illness that can be especially dangerous to newborns and the elderly.

Ettestad says the mothers aren't included in the illness count because their symptoms weren't severe.

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