Listeria alert, Italy in third place for reports in 2021: the ECDC report on infections

Italy conquers the lowest step of the podium of reports in 2021 with 241 cases behind Germany and France

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In recent months we have become familiar with thelisteria alert, the virus alert caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes which can be found in food. Numerous products, in fact, have been withdrawn from the market and from the shelves due to the risk of contagion, creating a real psychosis in Italy. But according to the latest data published in an ECDC report, listeriosis is not a disease that was reported only in 2022, but in the Bel Paese there were numerous reports also in 2021.

Listeria alarm, reports in 2021

According to the ECDC report, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, in fact, in 2021, many cases of listeriosis were reported. Data in hand, last year they were reported 2,268 cases in the European Union and in the European Economic Area, the highest incidence relative to the population was recorded in Denmark and Finland.

Specifically, the report shows that the age group most affected was the one over 64 years old (1,594 cases, equal to 70%). With a notification rate of 0.51 per 100,000 inhabitants, 45% of those affected are women, while 55% are men.

The cases in Italy

The report also specifies that although a decline in listeriosis cases was observed at EU level in 2020, the trend in 2017-2021 has remained constant. In this sense, Italy has conquered the podium of reports, but with the lowest step.

In fact, in our country, in 2021 they were reported 241 casesfar from the data recorded by Germany (560 cases) and France (435).

What is listeriosis

All the details about Listeria monocytogenes bacterium infection – Listeriosisare listed on the Ministry of Health website. It is a very common bacterium in the environment, capable of withstanding even low temperatures, which is generally found in soil and water and can therefore spread to vegetables and greens, also contaminating animals.

On foods it can be found in raw foods such as meats, vegetables or dairy products made with unpasteurized milk. Surveillance is concentrated above all on the serious forms of the disease, particularly dangerous for pregnant women, newborns, the elderly and the immunocompromised. Although the disease can also occur in mild forms, the notification of cases in the EU is mandatory in almost all countries.


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Listeria alert, Italy in third place for reports in 2021: the ECDC report on infections