PRESS RELEASE: LISTERIOSIS OUTBREAK ALERT IN SOUTH AFRICA
The general public is hereby notified of an outbreak of Listeriosis in South Africa. A total of 557 laboratory confirmed cases and 36 deaths have been reported from all provinces. Most cases and death were reported from Gauteng (62%) and Western Cape (17%).
Listeriosis is a bacterial infection most commonly caused by Listeria monocytogenes. The disease primarily affects risk group such as the elderly, immune-compromised persons, pregnant women and newborns. It is contracted by consumption of contaminated foods such as meat, dairy and milk products, fruits, vegetables and ready to eat foods.
Symptoms of Listeriosis include fever, muscle pain, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Pregnant women typically experience mild, flu-like illness. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness advises all travellers to South Africa to take all necessary precaution such as eating hygienically prepared, properly packed and well cooked foods and maximize personal hygiene during feeding.
The Ministry will continue to monitor the situation and give regular update to the public.
For further information on Listeriosis please visit the nearest health facility or call the Ministry of Health and Wellness on the Toll Free Number 08100 600 740.