Joburg fight­ing off spread of lis­te­rio­sis

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS -

The City of Joburg launched a cam­paign yes­ter­day to ed­u­cate the pub­lic on pre­vent­ing the spread of lis­te­rio­sis.

An out­break of the dis­ease has killed 36 peo­ple in South Africa this year, Min­is­ter of Health Aaron Mot­soaledi said ear­lier this week.

The Na­tional In­sti­tute for Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases says 557 cases have been re­ported since Jan­uary, 345 of them in Gaut­eng. Of these, 172 were in Jo­han­nes­burg, with 8% of these cases re­sult­ing in death.

Lis­te­rio­sis is a food-borne ill­ness asso- ciated with eat­ing food con­tam­i­nated with Lis­te­ria mono­cy­to­gens, in­clud­ing dairy prod­ucts and pro­duce, fresh veg­eta­bles and fruit, as well as readyto-eat prod­ucts. “We have ac­ti­vated our en­vi­ron­men­tal health out­break units to mon­i­tor all our food out­lets and also as­sist in ed­u­cat­ing com­mu­ni­ties on what steps to take to re­main safe,” Jo­han­nes­burg di­rec­tor of pub­lic health Dr Baskie De­sai said. “It is im­por­tant to tell our peo­ple to al­ways take pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures and to avoid cer­tain foods that might cause Lis­te­rio­sis if not pre­pared ac­cord­ingly.”

Symp­toms are usu­ally mild and may in­clude fever, mus­cle pain, rest­less­ness and some­times nau­sea or di­ar­rhoea.

The spread of in­fec­tion to the ner­vous sys­tem can cause menin­gi­tis lead­ing to headaches, con­fu­sion, stiff neck, loss of bal­ance or con­vul­sions.

The pres­ence of bac­te­ria in the blood, also known as bac­ter­aemia may also oc­cur.

The dis­ease pri­mar­ily af­fects preg­nant women and their new­borns, adults aged 65 and older and peo­ple with weak­ened im­mune sys­tems. – ANA

Al­ways take pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures

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