Joburg fighting off spread of listeriosis
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