The Financial Express

Listeria outbreak kills dozens in South Africa

| Updated: December 08, 2017 12:57:43

South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi (Internet Photo) South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi (Internet Photo)

At least 36 people have died in South Africa after an outbreak of a food borne disease, Listeriosis, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has said.

A total of 557 cases had been reported, mostly in the economic hub of Gauteng, followed by Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal.

Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

The bacteria is found in soil, water and vegetation, and contaminates food sources such as animal products and fresh produce, says a BBC report.

Speaking at a press conference, Motsoaledi said though listeria is a serious disease, it can be treated with antibiotics.

The disase mainly affects newborns, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems.

The South African government has tweeted that washing hands washing hands before and after preparing food is extremely important to prevent getting listeria.

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