Motsoaledi to name food containing Listeriosis

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Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he will announce drastic measures that government has taken to contain Listeriosis in South Africa.

Motsoaledi called an urgent media briefing on Sunday at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Pretoria.

Listeriosis is a disease caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes which is widely distributed in nature and can be found in soil, water and contaminated food.

Infection in humans occurs through the consumption of contaminated foods such as unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, vegetables and prepared meat products.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the Listeriosis disease is a worldwide occurrence with sporadic incidence.

Motsoaledi says results of tests to determine the origins of the Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa came in overnight.

He says he will name certain foods in which the strain of the bacteria causing the current outbreak has been found.

Some 915  cases of listeriosis have been reported to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).  It confirmed that the outbreak had already claimed 172 lives.

At 541, Gauteng accounts for the highest number of reported cases, followed by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Experts however say the outbreak has seemingly stabilised.  Authorities are still carrying out spot checks and high risks groups include ,those with a compromised immune system, the elderly, pregnant women and babies.