Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 06-12-2017
Health officials say they are investigating the source of the Listeriosis bacterial disease outbreak in the country after it caused the deaths of 36 people with 557 other cases confirmed countrywide.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention describes Listeriosis as a serious, but treatable and preventable disease caused by the bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes.
It is found in soil, water and vegetation which contaminates fresh produce and animal products.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says 345 Listeriosis cases have been reported in Gauteng followed by 71 cases in the Western Cape and 37 in KwaZulu-Natal.
Symptoms are similar to flu with diarrhoea, fever nausea, body pains and weakness.
The blood stream and the brain can also be affected.
Although anyone can get Listeriosis, those at high risk of developing the disease include new-born babies, the elderly, pregnant women, persons with weak immunity such as HIV, diabetes, cancer, chronic liver or kidney disease patients.
Motsoaledi says the disease is not contagious.
“It does not move from one person to the other. If you get it, the only way for the next person to get it is if you contaminate the food you are going to eat, you yourself having been contaminated with it already.”
Motsoaledi believes for this particular outbreak the most likely possible source is contaminated food at the origin, which includes farms as well as food processing plants.
Listen to the interview with the Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi