Outbreak Of Listeriosis In SA: Health Minister Issues Alert, Calls For Increased Vigilance
As the World Health Organisation said South Africa’s Listeria outbreak, with nearly 750 confirmed cases, is believed to be the largest-ever outbreak of the bacterial disease listeriosis,the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has called for increased vigilance at the points of entry into the country by the relevant officials .
Professor Adewole has also directed the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Port Health Officials to increase their surveillance and monitoring of food items to ensure compliance with safety guidelines.
Listeriosis is a serious, but preventable and treatable disease caused by the bacterium, listeria monocytogenes, which is found in soil, water, vegetation and some animal faeces. Animal products, including meat and dairy; seafood; and fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, can all be contaminated.
In a statement made available to newsmen by Director, Media and Public Relations,Ministry Of Health, Boade Akinola,that Listeriosis is food poisoning caused by eating food items such as meats, dairy products, fruits and vegetables contaminated by LISTERIA MONOCYSTOGENE
“The Nigerian public are advised to wash their fruits and vegetables properly , and ensure meats are well cooked before consumption.” Adewole said.
“Nigerians are advised to be calm as the Federal Government is monitoring the development in South Africa and would be properly advised when need be.”
According to WHO the second largest outbreak of listeriosis was in 2011, when the United States had a total of 147 reported cases. Prior to that, Italy had a large occurrence in 1997.
This recent outbreak has claimed the lives of more than 60 people in South Africa,