Listeria Monocytogenes The pregnancy emergency

What Is It?

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that causes fever, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea, confusion, and loss of balance. Many infected people will feel these symptoms, pregnant women will only have cold and flu like symptoms. Although they may have lighter symptoms, this pathogen can cause infections that lead to miscarriage known as listeriosis.

The Danger

The centers for disease control and prevention estimates that 1,600 people get sick from listeria monocytogenes and about 260 die from it every year, which is a 16% fatality rate. Pregnant women, the elderly (ages 65 and older), and people with weakened immune systems are in danger of listeria. Pregnant Latino women are 24 times more likely to get listeria monocytogenes than the general population.

Prevention

There's four easy steps to preventing food poisoning: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Always wash surfaces and dishes you eat on, fruits and veggies, and your hands before you eat. While shopping, cleaning, and cooking make sure to keep meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood away from other foods. Always keep foods at the right temperature when cooking, microwaving, etc. Finally, freezing your foods will help them stay fresh longer. However, it will not keep them fresh forever, so you must know when to throw foods out.

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