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What is Listeriosis?

Listeriosis is an infection caused by eating foods contaminated by Listeria bacteria. It is an important problem in the U.S.

Who is at increased risk for Literiosis?

  • Older adults
  • Pregnant women
  • Newborns
  • Adults with weakened immune systems

What are the symptoms of Listeriosis?

In pregnant women, listeriosis can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life threatening infections to the newborn. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Aches

In other people, symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Loss of balance
  • Convulsions
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches

How is Listeriosis diagnosed?

If you believe you have been infected with Listeria, call your doctor. They may take a blood or spinal fluid test to determine if you have been contaminated.

How is Listeriosis treated?

Antibiotics can be used to treat Listeriosis if a patient is showing symptoms. If a patient is not showing symptoms, no treatment is usually needed.

How can Listeriosis be prevented?

Listeriosis can be prevented by avoiding cross-contamination between foods. Clean up spills from food and thoroughly clean food surfaces and utensils. Store foods safely and avoid unpasteurized foods.

For more information on Listeriosis and how to prevent it from spreading, visit http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/index.html.