March 17, 2018

Listeria outbreak kills 36 people in South Africa

05 December 2017, 06:23 | Lena Norman

WATCH: 36 killed from #Listeriosis outbreak

Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announces outbreak of food borne disease in South Africa

According to the centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

Contamination in humans can result in flu-like illness, infection of the bloodstream and, in severe cases, infection of the brain which can prove fatal, he added.

"If you encounter the symptoms I've mentioned please rush to look for medical help, in other words don't just assume and sit at home especially if you get flu like symptoms now in summer".

By the end of last month, 557 cases had been confirmed, compared with about 80 cases annually in past years, the department said.

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

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

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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.

The minister further urged the public to keep food at safe temperatures, to wash hands before handling food and often during food preparation and to use safe water for domestic use at all times and use pasteurised milk products.

"All the stakeholders are cooperating with the investigation led by the NICD".

Gauteng province, South Africa's economic hub, had 62 percent of the reported cases, followed by the Western Cape, which includes Cape Town, with 13 percent and KwaZulu-Natal, site of the country's main port, Durban, with 7 percent.

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

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