Bacterial infections

How Do You Know If You Have Listeria

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 16, 2017
How Do You Know If You Have Listeria

Listeria is an infection that a person usually gets by eating something contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium. Pregnant ladies and their developing babies, elderly people and those with weakened immunity, are more susceptible to catch this infection than others. Once infected, the person also becomes vulnerable to develop meningitis, blood infection or any other serious and fatal complication. Although the infection is relatively rare as of now, here at, we will tell you how do you know if you have listeria.

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  1. Symptoms of listeria
  2. Symptoms of listeria during pregnancy
  3. How to prevent listeria
  4. Treatment of listeria

Symptoms of listeria

You may never come to know that you have listeria, as most people do not show any symptoms. So, how do you know if you have listeria? Some people may experience fever, nausea, diarrhea and muscle aches. First symptoms may start showing a few days or even 2 months after eating the contaminated food. Sometimes, the infection may spread to the patient’s nervous system, the signs of which include headache, neck stiffness, loss of balance, sensitivity to light, severe headache, convulsions, confusion and lack of alertness.

How Do You Know If You Have Listeria - Symptoms of listeria

Symptoms of listeria during pregnancy

A pregnant woman may show very mild symptoms of the infection, but it can be devastating for the baby. If the mother catches a listeria infection, the baby may have a life-threatening infection within the first few days of delivery, or he or she may even die unexpectedly before delivery. If you have a new born baby, the signs to see are vomiting, fever, irritability, and low interest in feeding.

How Do You Know If You Have Listeria - Symptoms of listeria during pregnancy

How to prevent listeria

The best preventative measure is to stay away from foods contaminated with listeria bacteria. Foods that are more likely to have this bacterium include unpasteurized milk, cheese and butter, mould-ripened soft cheese varieties, like blue-veined cheese, brie or Camembert, pate like vegetable pate, under-cooked or uncooked ready meals, poorly heated deli meat and hot dogs, etc. Make sure that you eat probiotic yogurts, pasteurized and UHT milk only. Soft and hard pasteurized cheeses are fine too, including processed cheese, cottage cheese and cheddar.

How Do You Know If You Have Listeria - How to prevent listeria

Treatment of listeria

If you develop flu-like symptoms, and if you suspect that you have eaten something infected, then it is better to contact your physician without delay. He will recommend a blood test for you, based on which he will give you antibiotics. If the patient is pregnant, she will also have to undergo an ultrasound to assess her baby’s health, so that a treatment plan can be devised.

How Do You Know If You Have Listeria - Treatment of listeria

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How Do You Know If You Have Listeria, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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How Do You Know If You Have Listeria