Symptoms can mimic a flu-like illness or can be much more severe. Unfortunately, a pregnant woman can also be completely asymptomatic.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that causes the infection listeriosis. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, stiff neck, confusion, and in severe cases, death. You can also contract the bacteria and show no symptoms at all, but still pass it on to your unborn baby. It can take days or weeks after an exposure for symptoms to appear.
Developing babies who become infected with Listeria may have issues, such as preterm labor and delivery, growth restriction, and fetal death. If the exposure occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy, a miscarriage can result. If a mom contracts the infection later in pregnancy, more health problems can occur in her unborn baby. They may develop paralysis, seizures, and blindness, as well as issues in the fetal brain, heart, or kidneys.