How to Test for Listeriosis

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Listeriosis is a disease that occurs when you eat food infected with Listeria monocytogene bacteria. Commonly found in raw foods, this bacteria primarily affects children, expectant women and anyone with a weakened immune system. A few home diagnostic tests might help you determine if you are infected with the disease.

  • Take your temperature using a thermometer. One of the symptoms of listeriosis is a fever. Your basal body temperature should be 37 °C (99 °F), and anything higher than this is considered a fever. While a fever is not a solid indication that you are infected with listeriosis, it is one of the main symptoms, particularly the feeling of hot and cold.

  • Take a flu test. You can purchase over-the-counter flu tests and perform them in a minimal amount of time. Flu tests will alert you to the presence of certain strains of the influenza virus; flu symptoms are associated with listeriosis.

  • Check your lymph nodes to see if they are enlarged. Place your index fingers on either side of your throat, just below the jaw. If your nodes are enlarged, this is a symptom of infection and a possible sign of listeriosis.

  • Make note of any other symptoms you have that are linked with listeriosis. Muscle pains, gastrointestinal disturbances and fatique are all common symptoms of this disease and could be an indicator as to whether or not you are infected.

  • Ask your doctor to take a sample of your blood. The only way to clinically test for listeriosis is to examine the blood and isolate the listeriosis organism.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you think you have listeriosis, see your doctor immediately. Listeriosis is a potentially fatal condition, particularly for children, pregnant women and the elderly.

References

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