People at Risk
Suspecting Foodborne Illnesses in Special Populations: Quick Facts for Providers
Dr. Christopher Braden highlights facts about foodborne illnesses in special populations to help clinicians recognize and diagnose those at greatest risk.
In the United States, an estimated 1,600 persons become seriously ill with listeriosis each year. Of these, 260 die.
Who Gets Listeriosis?
The following groups are at increased risk:
- Pregnant women: Pregnant women are about 13 times more likely than the general population to get listeriosis. About one in six (17%) cases of listeriosis occurs during pregnancy.
- Newborn babies: Newborn babies suffer the most serious effects of infection in pregnancy.
- Persons with weakened immune systems from transplants or certain diseases, therapies, or medications.
- Persons with cancer, diabetes, alcoholism, liver or kidney disease.
- Persons with AIDS: They are almost 300 times more likely to get listeriosis than people with normal immune systems.
- Older adults
- Healthy children and adults occasionally get infected with Listeria, but they rarely become seriously ill.
For more information, visit:
- CDC’s Feature: Protect Your Unborn Baby or Newborn from Infections
- FDA’s Guide for Food Safety for Pregnant Women
- FDA’s Guide for Food Safety for Transplant Recipients
- FDA’s Guide for Food Safety for People with Cancer
- FDA’s Guide for Food Safety for People with Diabetes
- FDA’s Guide for Food Safety for People with HIV/AIDS
- FDA’s Guide for Food Safety for Older Adults