21 cases of listeriosis reported in Mpumalanga

The community can prevent the disease by avoiding eating raw food, unpasteurised milk or dairy products and to avoid processed foods.

The department of health has recorded few cases of the listeriosis in various hospitals in Mpumalanga, with no fatalities reported, Mpumalanga News reports.

About 21 laboratory confirmed cases were reported from January 1 to December 8 in the province.

All cases have been investigated, and there is no epidemiological link to all the cases. The department’s Outbreak Response Team unit is on high alert including health facilities in diagnosing and investigating suspected cases.

READ MORE: Experts uncertain over source of listeria outbreak

Most cases are reported in Witbank hospital with six cases, Middelburg two cases, Mpungwe with one case, Rob Ferreira with four cases, Themba with two cases, Evander with one case, Barberton with two cases.

Another two cases were reported at private hospitals, namely Emalahleni Private Hospital with one case, and Cosmos private Hospital with another case.

Listeriosis is a serious bacterial disease caused by Gram-positive rod shaped bacterium, listeria monocytogenes. The bacterium is widely distributed in nature and can be found in soil, water and contaminated food. Animals and food products such as vegetables can become contaminated from these sources.

Infection with Listeria usually results in gastroenteritis with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. However, in persons with weak immunity, listeriosis can lead to meningitis or septicaemia.

In pregnant women, listeriosis may results in miscarriage along with meningitis of their infant. Those at high risk of the disease are newborn babies, the elderly, immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women and their unborn babies and those with underlying conditions such as HIV, diabetes, cancer, chronic liver and kidney disease.

People can maintain personal hygiene by washing hands, wash vegetables thoroughly with safe clean water.

How to recognise the illness?

Other people can be asymptomatic while carrying the bacteria.

There is mild fever, muscle pain, general body pains, nausea , vomiting and diarrhoea.

To those with a high risk of contracting listeriosis, the bacteria can spread to nervous system and cause meningitis.

Experts uncertain over source of listeria outbreak

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