lis·​te·​ri·​o·​sis | \li-ˌstir-ē-ˈō-səs \
plural listerioses\li-​ˌstir-​ē-​ˈō-​ˌsēz \

Definition of listeriosis 

: a serious encephalitic disease of a wide variety of animals that is caused by a bacterium (Listeria monocytogenes) and that in animals is often fatal but in humans is usually not fatal

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The World Health Organization’s fact sheet on listeriosis. Paul Burkhardt,, "What’s Behind the Deadliest Outbreak of Listeriosis," 15 Mar. 2018 Listeria causes listeriosis, a potentially fatal infection to young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "The company found listeria in a dessert. A week’s production run has been recalled. | Miami Herald," 23 Mar. 2018 According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), common symptoms of listeriosis include headache, stiff neck, confusion, fever, and muscle aches. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "Frozen Broccoli Sold at Shop & Stop, Giant, and More Recalled Due to Listeria Risk," 24 May 2018 According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1,600 people in the U.S. are sickened by listeriosis each year, and about 260 victims die of the infection. Gregory B. Hladky,, "Stop & Shop Issues Recall for Listeria-Tainted Frozen Broccoli," 23 May 2018 Listeria leads to listeriosis, which sickens about 1,600 in the United States each year and kills about 260, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "These frozen desserts were sold in 15 states. Listeria caused their recall. | Miami Herald," 23 Apr. 2018 In a March 19 complaint, federal authorities alleged that the creamery's ready-to-eat cheeses made from raw cow's milk had contained L.mono — a form of bacteria that can cause listeriosis, a relatively rare but potentially life-threatening illness. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "Federal court shuts NY cheese facility linked to Listeria outbreak that killed two," 3 Apr. 2018 At least 183 people in South Africa have died from listeriosis since the start of 2017., "Zambia Partially Lifts Ban on South African Listeriosis-Risky Food," 3 Apr. 2018 Miscarriages and stillbirths can result in pregnant women who get listeriosis. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "The company found listeria in a dessert. A week’s production run has been recalled. | Miami Herald," 23 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'listeriosis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of listeriosis

1941, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for listeriosis

New Latin, from Listeria, from Joseph Lister

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The first known use of listeriosis was in 1941

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lis·​te·​ri·​o·​sis | \(ˌ)lis-ˌtir-ē-ˈō-səs \
variants: also listerellosis \ˌlis-​tə-​rə-​ˈlō-​səs \
plural listerioses also -loses\-​ˌsēz \

Medical Definition of listeriosis 

: a serious disease of animals and humans that is caused by a bacterium of the genus Listeria (L. monocytogenes), that in animals causes severe encephalitis accompanied by disordered movements and is often fatal, that is contracted by humans especially from contaminated food (as processed meats or unpasteurized milk or cheese), that in otherwise healthy people typically takes the form of a mild flulike illness or has no noticeable symptoms, that in neonates, the elderly, and the immunocompromised often causes serious sometimes fatal illness with symptoms including meningitis and sepsis, and that in pregnant women usually causes only mild illness in the mother but often results in miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth — see circling disease

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