Listeria is a bacterium that invades the body via food sources such as raw sprouts, meats and animal by-products. Once inside the body, the bacteria grows, causing listeriosis. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle stiffness, diarrhea and vomiting, and some patients report confusion and weakness as well. Depending on the extent of the infection and the immune system of the individual affected, listeriosis can plague the body for between 3 and 70 days.
Three out of every four cases of listeria results in hospitalization, and as many as one in five listeria cases proves fatal. Though pregnant women, elderly people and individuals with compromised immune systems are threatened most by listeria, the bacteria can infect anyone.
In some cases, infections are connected to listeria outbreaks that are linked to the same source. For example, in 2011, cantaloupes distributed by Jensen Farms in Colorado were found to be the source of a mass listeria outbreak. The cantaloupes caused illnesses in 28 different states. The Centers for Disease Control reported that 147 people were infected, and 33 died. One pregnant woman suffered a miscarriage because of the outbreak.
At Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, PC, we are the voice for victims of listeria outbreaks. Our food poisoning lawyers understand the implications of listeriosis and its impact on victims and their families. If you have been affected by a listeria outbreak, contact one of our attorneys today for a case evaluation.