Listeriosis Infection Primer for Healthcare Providers

With the current outbreaks of listeriosis in Canada connected to deli meats and cheese, The Canadian Medical Association and the CMA Journal is releasing guidelines for healthcare professionals and the general public about symptoms, who is at risk, symptom management, and how to reduce the risk of listeriosis.

In the United States, about 20 percent to 65 percent of all foodborne-related deaths are caused by listeriosis. In people with healthy immune systems, listeriosis usually resolves without treatment after a flu-like illness. However, pregnant women are 20 times more likely than healthy adults to contract listeriosis and risk passing it on to their babies, which can result in miscarriage or infant death. The elderly and people with cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, AIDS/HIV and other illnesses that weaken immune systems are high-risk groups for contracting listeriosis.

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