All Woman

Your pregnancy: Listeria

Wednesday, April 23, 2014    

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Listeria infection is a foodborne bacterial illness that can be very serious for pregnant women and people with impaired immune systems. Listeria infection is most commonly contracted by eating improperly processed deli meats and unpasteurised milk products.

Healthy people rarely become ill from listeria infection, but the disease can be fatal to unborn babies and newborns.

Prompt antibiotic treatment can help curb the effects of listeria infection.

Listeria bacteria can survive refrigeration and even freezing. That's why people who are at higher risk of serious infections should avoid eating the types of food most likely to contain listeria bacteria.

During pregnancy, a listeria infection is likely to cause only mild signs and symptoms in the mother. The consequences for the baby, however, may be devastating. The baby may die unexpectedly before birth or experience a life-threatening infection within the first few days after birth.

Unborn babies can contract a listeria infection from the mother via the placenta.

Pregnant women should be particularly cautious about listeria. Take additional precautions with soft cheeses and Mexican-style cheeses

hot dogs, luncheon meats and deli meats unless they're reheated until steaming hot,

refrigerated pates or meat spreads and refrigerated smoked seafood.

— Mayo Clinic

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