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Life-threatening: how to recognize the symptoms of listeriosis and what to do in order not to get infected

In the United States, food is regularly recalled due to the threat of contracting listeria and the development of a life-threatening disease such as listeriosis. But if many have heard about the risks associated with salmonella, then they do not talk about listeria so often - although it is an equally dangerous bacterium. How do you recognize the symptoms of listeriosis and can the infection be prevented?

Фото: Depositphotos

What is dangerous listeria

Listeria is one of the most dangerous bacteria. It causes serious illness, and in exceptional cases, death, writes

Listeria has many subspecies, the most dangerous is the microbe Listeria monocytogenes. It occurs in soil, in the faeces of infected animals and in sewage, and can also infect food.

This bacterium is capable of developing and multiplying in the refrigerator (at a temperature of + 4 ° C), as well as at a high concentration of salt in the product. For example - in salted or smoked fish. And this despite the fact that most other pathogenic microbes die in such conditions.

Listeria is found in cold smoked fish and meat products or in those that have not undergone sufficient heat treatment. In addition, it may be present in unpasteurized dairy products, in hummus and poorly washed vegetables.

Even if the dish was cooked correctly, it can become infected from a cutting board, which was poorly washed after working with vegetables or raw meat.

On the subject: Life-threatening bacteria: popular products recalled from US stores

Symptoms of infection

The incubation period lasts from 3 days to 2 months after eating contaminated food.

Initially, the symptoms resemble the flu (fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). In severe cases, the microbe enters the bloodstream, causing sepsis, meningitis (especially in young children), miscarriages and premature births in pregnant women, pneumonia and pericarditis.

How to avoid infection

  • In order not to become infected, it is necessary to cook meat and fish so that the temperature in the center of the piece is not lower than 72 ° С.
  • You should not buy products in dubious places. This is especially true for meat, fish, unpasteurized milk.
  • After cooking, be sure to wash your hands with soap.
  • Before eating fruits and vegetables, wipe them with a clean cloth and avoid foods that have stood in the refrigerator for a long time or have expired.

On the subject: Ground beef caused an outbreak of salmonellosis in 6 states: one person died

How is listeriosis treated?

Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics, in severe cases they are administered intravenously in a hospital setting. In most cases, antibiotics of the penicillin group (penicillin, ampicillin) are used, with an allergy to penicillin it is replaced with the drug resprim.

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