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What Is Listeria? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, & Prevention

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What Is Listeria? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, & Prevention
(CTN News) – Listeria is a foodborne illness caused by the bacteria L monocytogenes. Fever, chills, and headaches are some of the symptoms.
People who are pregnant or have weakened immune systems are most likely to contract a severe infection. It is possible to treat this condition with antibiotics. By washing and cooking your food thoroughly, you can prevent listeriosis.

What is listeriosis?

The foodborne illness listeriosis is caused by bacteria. Listeriosis is caused by the germ Listeria monocytogenes. It is common to find Listeria monocytogenes in nature, especially in soil, groundwater, rotting vegetation, and animal feces (poop).

Listeria is usually contracted by eating contaminated foods. When you first become infected with listeriosis and when you first show symptoms, the incubation period varies. A couple of days to three months is usually how long it takes, but it can take less or more.

In what foods is listeria found?

The most common cause of listeriosis infections is contaminated foods. According To CDC Listeria is most commonly caused by the following foods:

  • Hot dogs.
  • Deli meats.
  • Fresh vegetables.
  • Fresh fruits, especially melons.
  • Unpasteurized dairy products (sterilized to kill bacteria).

There is a high risk of contamination of these foods with L monocytogenes. Listeria, however, can affect almost any food that has been improperly handled or prepared.

What are the symptoms of listeriosis?

Listeriosis symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Confusion.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Convulsions (muscle contractions that you can’t control).

It is possible for a severe listeriosis infection to spread to your bloodstream or brain. As a result of severe infections, sepsis, meningitis, and encephalitis may occur.

What are the side effects of antibiotics?

Side effects of antibiotics may include:

  • Allergic reactions. Symptoms of allergic reactions may range from mild rashes to skin blisters, swelling of your face and throat, and difficulty breathing. Any past drug reactions or allergies should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
  • Clostridioides difficile. The bacteria Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile or C. diff) causes diarrhea.
  • Antibiotic resistance. Bacteria become resistant to antibiotics when they change and become stronger so that antibiotics no longer kill or stop them from growing. Medications are then unable to treat bacterial infections.

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