Raw milk products: Four babies with severe germ infections

Raw milk products: Four babies with severe germ infections

Four children born with severe Listeria infection
The Baden-Württemberg State Health Office advises pregnant women to avoid certain foods such as raw milk products. Four children with severe bacterial infections have already been born in the southwestern German state. Two babies died.

Expectant mothers should avoid raw milk products
Since the beginning of the year, four babies with a severe Listeria infection have been born in Baden-Württemberg, two of the children have died. As reported by the regional council in Stuttgart, more newborns are already suffering from listeriosis in the first two months of the year than in most years since 2001. The state health office in the regional council therefore recommends mothers-to-be to raw milk products, raw sausages, smoked fish and vacuum-packaged until birth to dispense ready-to-eat products.

Bacteria can also multiply in the refrigerator
Salads, fruits and vegetables can also be contaminated with listeria. The best precaution is to wash off fresh salads and peel fruit and vegetables. Listeria are insensitive to cold and can reproduce even at refrigerator temperatures. Experts from Baden-Württemberg advise that food, especially vacuum-packed food, should be consumed as soon as possible after purchase and before the specified shelf life has expired.

Some foods particularly affected
Listeria are bacteria that are in principle found everywhere in our environment and can be found in all raw foods. Meat, poultry, fish, seafood and raw milk products are particularly affected, but subsequent heating can also occur with heated products such as cooked sausage. If such germs are found in food, the product concerned is usually recalled. For example, recently "coastal gold" smoked salmon was recalled due to bacterial contamination.

Severe disease courses in infected unborn babies
The pathogens usually do not pose a risk to healthy people, so an infection (listeriosis) is usually harmless. However, infants, toddlers, older and immunocompromised people like newly operated people, people suffering from diabetes, cancer patients or AIDS patients are at risk. According to health experts, Listeria can trigger meningitis (meningitis) or blood poisoning (sepsis) among these risk groups. In healthy adults, however, an infection is usually rather harmless. Most of the time, there are mild symptoms that resemble those of flu. Among other things, this leads to fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, body aches and headaches. Even among expectant mothers themselves, the disease is usually mild or even without symptoms. However, in the case of infected unborn babies, the course of the disease can be severe, including even stillbirth. Pregnant women should therefore always consult a doctor with symptoms such as fever and chills. (ad)

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