In detail

Listeria and preconception

Listeria and preconception

Listeriosis is a rare, infectious disease, produced by a bacterium called "Listeria monocytogenes", which is usually transmitted to humans through contaminated food, insufficiently pasteurized milk or cheese (but most often germs are found in insufficiently cooked meat and products). dairy products).
Listeriosis most often affects newborns, the elderly, pregnant women and people with a low immune system, but also in very rare cases, healthy adults. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of the disease are necessary to avoid severe complications of the disease.

Risk factors
Listeriosis is a severe infection caused by the consumption of food contaminated with the germ "Listeria monocytogenes".

Despite the fact that anyone can get infected, in some people the risk is higher. Listeriosis can be a danger to pregnant women and the fetus. This disease can have as a consequence the premature birth, abortion or birth of a dead child. Also, the newborn may be seriously ill if he was infected with Listeria prior to his birth.
People who have a weakened immune system also have an increased risk of developing a severe form of the disease. These include people suffering from diseases, such as cancer or AIDS, and also older people.
Although healthy adults and children can also contact the germ, they rarely have a severe form of the disease.
The symptoms of listeriosis
Some people have a flu-like illness, with symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting and gastric pain. These symptoms can last two days in mild forms, in people without immunity problems.
However, if the germ manages to penetrate the nervous system, the symptoms may be more severe. In this case, symptoms include headache and cervical rigidity, convulsions, loss of balance and a confusional state.
Pre-conception medical investigations
Before you become pregnant it is advisable to do some specific analysis in preconception, including blood, to make sure you do not have listeria bacteria. If the result confirms that you have listeriosis, you will have to undergo antibiotic treatment, repeat the blood test and wait at least a month before trying to get pregnant.
Treatment of listeriosis
Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Due to the severity of the disease, many doctors prefer to hospitalize patients during treatment, for better monitoring. Antibiotics can thus be administered intravenously, thus reaching directly into the bloodstream. This is the fastest and most effective way to administer an antibiotic.
Period of recovery
Antibiotic treatment usually lasts two weeks. People with weakened immune systems may need treatment for a longer period to prevent disease recurrence.
How do we avoid listeriasis?
All animal products including eggs, meat and poultry products must be cooked with great care. Also, the consumption of unpasteurized milk should be avoided (through pasteurization a process of boiling milk in which bacteria are destroyed) and all fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before consumption. Both hands and cooking utensils should be washed with hot water and soap after contact with food, especially meat delicacies and raw meat.

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