Gauteng at centre of Listeriosis outbreak

Gauteng at centre of Listeriosis outbreak

Listeriosis is caused by a bacterium found in soil, water and vegetation.

There are four possible sources of listeriosis in general, which include farms, food processing plants, retail shops and food preparations at home, Motsoaledi told a press conference in Pretoria, video-linked to Cape Town. "The source of this outbreak is now being investigated and all stakeholders are cooperating with the investigation led by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases", the minister said.

"Most cases (62%, or 345 cases) have been reported from Gauteng‚" Motsoaledi said.

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

The World Health Organisation has advised on food safety measures which includes; that people should keep clean especially when handling food, food should be cooked thoroughly; raw food should not be eaten; use safe water, keep food at safe temperatures and use pasteurised milk products.

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"Given that only 17 percent of South Africans use private health facilities, this proportion of cases from the private health facilities is too high".

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said there are over 500 confirmed laboratory cases.

"Of these 70 cases, 36 persons have perished", said Motsoaledi.

The Department of Health has issued a warning on an outbreak of food-borne disease Listeriosis. "In the meantime, it is important for the public to know how they can prevent the spread of this outbreak", said Chatora.

People usually contract it through animal products and fresh fruits and vegetables.

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