The National Institute for communicable Diseases announced that more than 647 cases of Listeriosis has been recorded in South Africa this year. The institution has confirmed that over 60 patients have died from the disease in 2017.

Its still unclear what causes the disease, the department of health said its still busy with investigations into the source of the outbreak. Last week, a community newspaper Pretoria Moot Rekord reported that Sonette Clack from Moot in Pretoria was believed to have been transfered to Steve Biko academic hospital after it was suspected that she contracted meningitis. This was the latest person to die since health minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that 557 cases were detected across the country.

The food borne sickness is found in soil, water and vegetation. Fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables and animal products can potentially be contaminated from these sources. The symptoms of Literiosis includes flu-like symptoms along with a fever, diarrhoea, general body pains and vomiting. It also includes infection in the blood stream. Newborns, the elderly, pregnant women and people with low immunity and living with HIV, Diabetes, Cancer and chronic liver are at higher risk of contracting it.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said yesterday, “The City has increased its efforts to prevent further outbreaks of the disease. Our environmental health practitioners have been requested to visit the homes of people diagnosed with listeriosis. The City Health laboratory is now also equipped to analyse listeria as part of the sampling regime and will focus on higher-risk foods by means of a sampling project from time to time. We will also ramp up our health promotion efforts in communities and at clinics.”

The City has also urged the public to always ensure that good hygiene practices are followed:

  •         Wash your hands thoroughly
  •         Separate raw and cooked foods
  •         Cook food thoroughly
  •         Store food at safe temperatures
  •         Use clean water and fresh food

Picture: City Of Cape Town

Article written by

Marvin Charles

Marvin Charles is a journalist who has worked both in print and online. Story, tip or secret burning to tell someone? email him at: [email protected]