Recently, a nationwide recall of frozen food items was instituted as a result of potential bacterial contamination from Listeria monocytogenes. The food items included cover more than 300 products sold in all 50 states and parts of Canada.
Sources and Risk Factors for Infection with Listeria monocytogenes
This recall is concerning because of the potential for serious infection from Listeria, especially in very young patients, pregnant women, elderly persons, or people who are immunocompromised. Listeriosis often presents with fever and muscle aches and is commonly preceded by vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and/or diarrhea. Medical algorithms can aid clinicians in identifying high risk patients and listeria monocytogenes symptoms.
Patients at High Risk for Serious Infection with Listeria monocytogenes
From the CDC, symptoms of listeriosis can also include:
- Pregnant women: Pregnant women typically experience fever and other non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue and aches. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
- People other than pregnant women: Symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.
During outbreaks of food-borne illnesses, physicians need to be extra vigilant when working up symptoms of food-borne illness. Utilizing medical algorithms can assist healthcare providers in identifying potential cases of Listeria which can improve time to treatment and improve clinical outcomes.
Clinical situations when the possibility of listeriosis should be considered
Whether food-borne illnesses, infectious diseases from mosquitoes, or nearly any infectious disease outbreak, the Medical Algorithms Company can provide information for clinical presentation, diagnostic workup, treatment options, as well as prevention. Incorporating medical algorithms into the clinical decision process can improve diagnostic accuracy and improve outcomes.