What is listeriosis?

Listeriosis is an uncommon form of infection brought about by the listeria bacteria. The infection typically settles on its own but can lead to serious issues among those who have a weakened immune system and pregnant women.

How can I acquire the infection?

Listeriosis is generally due to eating contaminated food. One acquires it from various types of food but typically an issue with:

  • Dairy products made from unpasteurized milk
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Soft types of cheese such as brie and camembert
  • Chilled ready-to-eat-foods such as pâté, sandwiches and deli meats

Take note that these foods will not always lead to the condition.

listeriosis

Generally, listeriosis does not trigger any symptoms or only cause minor symptoms for a few days such as diarrhea, fever and nausea.

The condition can also stem from:

  • Exposure to infected individuals such as eating food that they handled especially if they have not washed hands thoroughly
  • Close exposure to farm animals particularly cows and sheep that are giving birth

What are the signs of listeriosis?

Generally, listeriosis does not trigger any symptoms or only cause minor symptoms for a few days such as:

  • Fever of 38 degrees C or higher
  • Chills
  • Body ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

If any of these symptoms are present, you can manage it at home.

Prevention

There are some measures that can lower the risk for acquiring listeriosis such as:

  • Regularly wash hands using water and soap
  • Thoroughly wash vegetables and fruits before eating them
  • Store ready-to-eat foods according to the packaging instructions
  • Make sure that all hot foot is steaming hot all the way
  • Avoid foods that are after the “use-by date” even if they smell and appear normal

FACT CHECK

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/what-is-listeria#1

https://www.cdc.gov/listeria/index.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/listeria-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20355269

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