Posted by: ICE | 2018/01/22

Can one have repeated boats of listeria infection?

Hi, I'm a 40 yr old woman. One Saturday, early November last year, I took an afternoon nap (feeling fine when I went to bed) and woke up literally feeling as if I was hit by a truck. Every single muscle and joint in my body ached - severely. I couldn't even rub my dog's head, my fingers ached too much. I still had an appetite, so I ate something and took 2 genpaynes (normally 1 is enough for me). A couple of hours later I developed a fever (38.9 degrees - this was while the pain meds should have been in full effect) and started to get nauseous.) Then I vomited several times within a few minutes. (I couldn't eat for at least 3 days afterwards, so I could not take any further pain medication except buscopan). Then diarrhea started. The fever, body aches and diarrhea continued for days. I had no appetite, no energy - could only lie in bed and drag myself to the toilet when absolutely necessary. Fainted once. Bad stomach cramps. And finally started to feel better by the next Friday (almost 7 days in). If this was ordinary food poisoning, it was the worse I've had in my life by an order of magnitude. I did see my Dr on the Wednesday, who advised me to take Smecta and Rehydrat and rest for a couple of more days and she gave me a prescription for antibiotics to get only if I still had a fever by the Friday. She never mentioned listeria as an option, but this was just before the outbreak made the news. By Friday the fever had finally broken, so I never filled the antibiotic prescription. Then two weeks later - same. Only all symptoms milder, lasting only a few days. Now I have the same again (since last Thursday - it's Monday today). No vomiting, thankfully, and if I have a fever it's very mild (haven't measured it). Was the above (especially the first bad bout) listeria? If so, is it possible to get it more than once? And should I go and fill that antibiotic prescription so that I can get over it once and for all?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc
- 2018/01/23


Wow, it does sound as if you might have had Listeria, because your normal run of the mill gastro virus will not make you so ill for so long. I do think it would be better to first go back to the doctor and have some tests done, possibly a stool sample, to ascertain the organism causing the disease. If you start with the antibiotic now they will not be able to do the tests. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon. 

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