Listeria Monocytogenes

What You Should Know About the Recent Listeria Outbreak

Listeria has been continuing to spread from cantaloupe melon over the past few weeks at an increasing pace and subsequently has been causing a lot of chaos, resulting in more deaths across the country. It has been reported that a woman from Louisiana has died after being a victim of Listeria. It is believed the latest outbreak of listeria is the worst to hit the United States in a period of 10 years. So far more than 17 people have fallen victim to the disease and have died as a result. The whole scenario started as contaminated melons which entered the many markets across the country and as the death toll continues to rise, the nationwide worry has also reached epic heights. This is the sort of thing Hollywood makes movies about and now it appears this horror movie is beginning to unfold for real.

A total of more than 85 people have been diagnosed with the illness and the deaths keep rising as time goes by. It is most frequently elderly people, pregnant women and children who are affected most severely by the disease due to their weaker immune systems.

So how did all this start?

The listeria outbreak has been traced to Rocky Ford cantaloupes in Colorado, and since then, 18 states have reported the deadly infection subsequent to 300,000 shipments of the cantaloupes from Jensen Farms. Babies are also vulnerable and they need to be well taken care of to avoid becoming contaminated.

Some of the symptoms to keep an eye out for in kids are:

  • children becoming irritated quite easily
  • they do not want to be fed and start vomiting easily

When these symptoms start developing, you need to take the infected child or children to seek medical attention immediately before it is too late.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Listeria has an incubation period of about 30 days and so people who show any signs and symptoms should seek medical attention early. It might be difficult to see these signs a week after contamination and  it is preferable you visit a doctor with onset of the earliest signs. The CDC has reported that this disease is deadly compared to other diseases such as salmonella and E.colli.

Tips on how to avoid Listeria

The following guidelines have been issued by the CDC on how to avoid Listeria and E. coli contaminations:

  • Thoroughly cook food that is sourced from animals such as beef and poultry
  • Clean vegetables well before preparing them using running water
  • Keep all uncooked food away from the cooked or ready-to-eat meals
  • Avoid drinking unpasteurized milk and milk products
  • Make a habit of eating perishable foods as soon as possible and avoid keeping them for long

The above ways can help one avoid listeria and other deadly infections such as E. coli.

• Meet the Author • Emily Murray

Emily is a journalism school graduate who has morphed from reporter and columnist to blogger. She blogs about health, fitness and beauty with a particular interest in psychology and how the mind works.

2 comments… add one
  • Thanks for the informative article, it was a good read and I hope its ok that I share this with some facebook friends. Thanks.


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