Listeriosis is an infection that usually develops after eating food contaminated by listeria bacteria.
In most people, listeriosis is mild and causes symptoms including a high temperature (fever), vomiting and diarrhoea. These symptoms usually pass within three days without the need for treatment.
However, in rare cases, the infection can be more severe andspread to other parts of your body, causing serious complications, such as Meningitis . Common signs ofsevere listeriosis include a stiff neck, severe headache and tremors .
Read about the treatment of diarrhoea .
If you've been vomiting or feeling sick, it should be fine to avoid eating for a short while. However, make sure you continue drinking fluids, and eat as soon as you can. Eat small, light meals and avoid fatty or spicy foods.
Contact your GP if your symptoms don't improve within a few days.
Some peopleare particularly vulnerable tosevere listeriosis.
Seek medical help if your symptoms are severe (see below).
Listeriosis is usuallydiagnosed with a blood test . If it's thought that the infection has spread to the nervous system, further tests may include an MRI scan and a lumbar puncture .
If you're pregnant and show signs of listeriosis, or if you have a young child who shows signs of the illness, seek immediate medical advice.
If you develop listeriosis during pregnancy, you'll be given antibiotics to help prevent the infection spreading to your baby. You may also be given additional ultrasound scans to assess the health of your baby.
Treatment for listeriosis in infants is the same as for adults, although it's usually recommended that infants are kept in an intensive care unit (ICU) as a precaution.
If listeriosis spreads into your blood (septicaemia) or your central nervous system, you'll be admitted to hospital to receive injections of antibiotics (intravenous antibiotics) while your health is carefully monitored.
The length of time you'll need to spend in hospital depends on whether the infection has spread from your blood or nervous system to other organs, such as your brain.
Most people with severe listeriosis require at least two weeks of treatment with intravenous antibiotics. However, in the most serious cases, at least six weeks of treatment may be needed.
The best way to reduce your chances of developing listeriosis is to ensure you always practise good food hygiene. For example, you should:
If you're in a high risk group for listeriosis for example, if you're pregnant or you have a weakened immune system, avoid eating some foods, such as soft mould-ripened cheese or pt.
This is because the body's natural defences against the listeria bacteria are weaker during pregnancy.
Pregnant women are almost 20 times more likely to develop listeriosis compared with the rest of the population.
A listeria infection inpregnancy doesn't usually pose a serious threat to the mothers health. However, it can cause pregnancy and birth complications, and can result in miscarriage .
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Listeriosis is an infection that usually develops after eating food that's been contaminated by listeria bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes)
Symptoms of listeriosis in most healthy adults are mild. They usually develop from 3-70 days after the initial infection.
Listeriosis is caused by a type of bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes (listeria). It is mainly spread through contaminated food.