Three people have died and two others survived after suffering severe listeria infections in Washington state, health officials said in a report released Friday.

All of the infected patients were over the age of 60 and each had compromised immune systems, the Washington Department of Health said in a statement Friday. All were hospitalized, he said.

Four patients were treated in Pierce County, home to the state’s third-largest city, Tacoma, and one was treated in adjacent Thurston County, state health officials said.

Although genetic fingerprinting known as genome sequencing helped health professionals conclude that the infections likely had the same origin, the department had yet to trace the outbreak to a common food source, the department said.

The bacteria can be found on food preparation surfaces, fresh unpasteurized cheese, leafy green vegetables, and lunch meats, as well as raw milk.

Although healthy people temporarily experience fever, muscle aches, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, listeria monocytogenes it can be fatal for pregnant people, people over 65, and people with compromised immune systems.

The bacteria are easily defeated by heating food to 165 degrees or higher.

In July of last year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced 22 hospitalizations and one death from a multi-state listeria outbreak.

christian santana contributed.