The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released information regarding the outbreak of Listeria in Florida. It has been revealed that there have been more than two dozen cases so far, with transmission directly linking to the Florida area, and more specifically to the Big Olaf Creamery based primarily in Sarasota.
With this information in mind, the health experts at NiceRx
have shared the most common symptoms to look for and how to combat the infection.
What is Listeria?
Listeria is a dangerous form of food poisoning, typically proving most harmful to pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. The infection is usually caused by eating contaminated food holding the bacteria ‘Listeria Monocytogenes’. Officials have now revealed that this outbreak has been caused by ice cream based-products that are sold in the Florida area.
Is Listeria dangerous?
Listeria symptoms are usually mild for pregnant women, but it can cause severe disease in the fetus or newborn baby. For the other primary groups at risk, severe bloodstream infections and brain infections are common - causing sepsis, meningitis, or encephalitis.
Listeria symptoms to note include: Fever, nausea, muscle aching, diarrhea, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.
Around 1,600 US citizens get diagnosed with Listeria each year.
Of 23 illnesses recorded (as of July 2, 2022), there have been 22 hospitalizations and 1 death.
Nearly half of the recorded cases so far have been Florida residents, with people sick across 10 states.
Listeria is treated with antibiotics and is usually diagnosed when a laboratory test grows the aforementioned bacteria Listeria Monocytogenes from body tissue or fluid. E.g, the placenta, blood, or spinal fluid.
Navin Khosia, Medical Writer at NiceRx
shared the following on Listeria, and how to reduce the risks of contracting the infection:
“What we know about the new Listeria outbreak so far is that most of the cases have been linked back to Florida residents - or those who have traveled to the area before their sickness - and now we know that at least one source of the outbreak directly links to ice cream from the Big Olaf Creamery.”
“The company and the CDC are currently in the process of calling back all of their products sold by other retailers, and recommend a deep clean of any containers/utensils that may have touched Big Olaf ice cream products.”
Typically, raw food types are the most commonly linked to the Listeria infection, especially uncooked meats, unpasteurized milks, cheeses, and of course ice cream, and you should also be aware of raw or processed fruit and vegetables which have been widely linked to recent outbreaks”
“The infection is most harmful to pregnant women, newborns, elderly citizens, and those with a weakened immune system. Although the infection is less harmful to some ages and health bands than others, it is still widely encouraged that you seek medical care within two months of eating possible contaminated food, and are suffering any notable symptoms of Listeria - including fatigue, body ache, and diarrhea.”
“It is understandable that infection concerns have been heightened over the last few years given the long-lasting effects of Covid-19 across the US and worldwide, but is widely suggested that if you do not feel sick after such food scares, then you do not need to receive tests and treatment.”