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Limpopo health warns community about listeriosis

The Limpopo Department of Health has issued warnings to the local community to thoroughly wash vegetables before eating them as the Listeriosis outbreak continues to spread across the country with the current national death toll sitting at 67.

According to the department, 33 people in Limpopo have been diagnosed with the infection and two casualties have been reported to National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) to date.

However, the Limpopo Health MEC’s spokesperson Thabiso Teffo says the department is doing all they can to prevent further infections in the province.

“The MEC has been on radio about this. The community has been advised to wash vegetables thoroughly before eating; boil their food especially meat, avoid unpasteurised milk, cold meats, soft cheese and seafood,” he said.

Training health workers

Teffo further highlighted that they currently training health workers with assistance from the NICD and also pleaded with environmental health officers to assist the department by visiting the affected families to diagnose the root cause of the disease and check their food.

According to the NICD, which does surveillance for all communicable diseases across South Africa, listeriosis is caused by the bacterium listeria monocytogenes. It is transmitted to people through contaminated food. Most healthy people exposed to Listeria do not fall ill and the vast majority of cases are mild.

However, the NICD warned that some infections are serious and vulnerable people may present with meningitis or bacteraemia or pregnancy–related complications including miscarriages, stillbirths, premature deliveres and infections in newborns.

Democratic Alliance’ Shadow Minister of Health Patricia Kopane said the outbreak may have a negative impact on country’s local food producers as some countries such as Rwanda have banned the import of various foods from South Africa. – Health-e News.

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