Health Care

Health Minister confirms outbreak of Listeriosis in South Africa

Health Minister confirms outbreak of Listeriosis in South Africa”

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi made the announcement a short while ago in Cape Town.

That is as much as 10 times the usual annual rate of 60-80 cases recorded.

The majority of these cases have been reported in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

"The bacteria is widely distributed in nature and can be found in soil‚ water and vegetation".

Listeriosis is a foodborne illness it has been associated with a wide variety of foods, including dairy products, meat products, vegetables, fruit, and ready-to-eat products. However, in July 2017 Doctors from neonatal units in the Chris Hani Baragwanath and Steve Biko Academic hospitalss alerted the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) about unusually high numbers of babies with listeriosis.

Motsoaledi said the cause of the outbreak was now being investigated and urged South Africans to wash their hands and keep food at safe temperatures.

While anyone could contract the disease‚ those who could most easily contract it are newborns‚ the elderly‚ pregnant women‚ and people with weak immunity‚ such as those with HIV‚ diabetes‚ cancer‚ and chronic liver or kidney disease.

The disease causes flu-like symptoms and can lead to nausea, diarrhoea, infection of the blood stream and brain.

Members of the public are advised to call the NICD Emergency Operations Centre during working hours on 011 386 2000.

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