The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has announced that there are 87 new laboratory-confirmed cases of listeriosis in the country. Oddly enough, health officials are not alarmed. Of the 87 new cases, 23 have been confirmed in Cape Town.
Twenty-one deaths have also been reported in the new wave of outbreaks. The 2017/18 listeriosis crises resulted in the deaths of more than 200 people across the country.
Most of the reported cases originate from the Gauteng province, and the Western Cape with 23 followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 16 cases.
“Ages range from birth to 80 years and 57% are female. Thirty-six percent of cases are pregnancy associated, with 30 out of 84 cases, followed by adults aged 15-49 and 50-64,” said the NICD. “Four cases in children aged from a month to 14 were reported.”
The symptoms of listeriosis include fever, stiff neck, confusion, a loss of balance, or convulsions. Foodborne infection in humans occurs through the consumption of contaminated foods, particularly unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, vegetables and prepared meat products such as pâté. Unlike most foodborne pathogens, listeria multiplies readily in refrigerated foods that have been contaminated. Transmission is also possible from mother to fetus or from mother to child during birth.
Listeriosis causes meningoencephalitis and/or septicaemia in adults and newborn infants. In pregnant women, it causes fever and miscarriages. Newborn infants, pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals are particularly susceptible to listeriosis. In pregnant women, transmission of infection to the fetus may lead to stillbirth, septicaemia at birth or neonatal meningitis.
(SOURCE: CAPE TOWN ETC)
For more information on listeriosis, including symptoms, treatment and prevention, click the link below: