About the Listeria bacteria

The listeria bacteria strain or genus can cause some serious illness in human beings if consumed. Usually this strain of bacteria is found in cheese, unpasteurized milk, unwashed vegetables, raw meat, sausages, deli meats, hot dogs that are not completely heated even if they seemed to be cooked fully initially before packaging. A slight exposure to the bacteria species may not cause you to contract or acquire it; but, people with low immunity levels are more susceptible to get infected.

Symptoms of a listeria infection

Symptoms of a listeria infection are more than one. It symptoms include fever, sore throat, diarrhea and vomiting. If the infection is serious it may lead to complications and development of meningitis and encephalitis. Pregnant women who acquire this bacteria strain are inclined to have still births. It has also been observed that pregnant women are more susceptible to the listeria related illness as compared to the general population at large. If the woman does not have a still birth, then the newborn can be born with listeria, which may cause the death of the child as well. It has been noted the listeria related deaths in infants is on the rise. The effects of listeria related infection and illness on pregnant women can be complicating and may inflict devastating effects. Therefore, pregnant women and infants if detected with symptoms of listeria should opt for medical treatment immediately.

HIV positive patients, people having organ transplants of one or more kinds, diabetic patients, elderly people and newborns are also liable to experience complications on acquiring listeria bacteria genus. The aforementioned categories of people are highly susceptible to listeria and hence must take adequate precautionary measures. These include avoiding milk, deli meats, cheese made from raw milk, uncooked or partially cooked sausages, hot dogs, unwashed raw vegetables and fruits. Fruits and vegetables should be washed properly and sausages, hot dogs etc. should be fully cooked before consumption. Lastly, raw meat of any kind should be kept at bay.

Transmission

It has also been observed in recent times that ready made salads containing pre-washed raw vegetables and fruits such as lettuce and other ingredients and additions are good promoters of listeria. The US center for disease control advises that pre-washed lettuces and all types of vegetables and fruits be washed properly before usage.

The presence of the listeria strain of bacteria is detected by stool test on the stool sample. Once diagnosed with listeria, medical practitioners administer antibiotics, which eliminate harmful bacterial cells, and prevent complications such as meningitis, encephalitis and still births. Not everyone continues to have complications. But, if you contract listeria related illness consult your doctor immediately.

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