Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

36 killed from #Listeriosis outbreak

36 killed from #Listeriosis outbreak

In a statement about the outbreak, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said private healthcare facilities accounted for 34% of cases, while 66% came from public health facilities.

Approximately 557 cases have been reported while 36 people have already died of the disease.

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.

This is according to an alert by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), posted on Tuesday.

Listeriosis is a preventable disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria that is typically transferred through contaminated food and is readily treatable with antibiotics.

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Listeriosis, commonly found in soil, water and vegetation contaminates food sources including animal and farm produce which transmit the bacteria to consumers.

Motsoaledi says this indicates that the source of the outbreak is likely to be a food product that's widely distributed and consumed by people across all socio-economic groups.

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.

Motsoaledi explained: "There are three things that can happen to you when you get listeriosis; you can get flu-like symptoms or diarrhoea, septicaemia, which is the infection of the whole bloodstream and meningoencephalitis, meaning your brain and membrane surrounding the brain are infected".

The source of this outbreak is now being investigated, and all the stakeholders are cooperating with the investigation led by the NICD.

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