The Department of Health has put the Listeriosis outbreak on high surveillance as 119 new cases have occurred since 5 December 2017 and 61 patients have passed on.
“By 5 December 2017, there were 36 people who were traced and were found to have passed on. Now out of the total of 727 laboratory-confirmed cases which we know about, we were only able to trace 134 actual patients. Out of this 134 traced patients, 61 had passed on,” said Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.
How to keep Listeriosis at bay
The Health Department has advised all South Africans to practice basic food hygiene principles as outlined by the WHO which are:
- Keep clean. Wash your hands before handling food and often during food preparation. Don’t get tired of washing your hands.
- If you are handling or storing raw food, don’t touch already cooked food unless you have thoroughly washed your hands and food preparation utensils. In other words, separate raw from cooked food.
- Cook food thoroughly. Never eat half cooked or uncooked food, especially meat products. Food that does not usually need cooking before eating needs to be thoroughly washed with clean running water. Families with no source of clean running water need to boil their water before domestic use.
- Keep food at safe temperatures. Food that should be kept cold should be refrigerated and food to be served hot should be served hot.
- Use safe water for domestic use at all times and use pasteurised milk products. In situations where pasteurisation is not possible, for own domestic consumption, please boil the milk prior to use.
Members of the public can call the NICD Emergency Operations Centre during working hours on 011 386 2000.
Health workers can call the NICD Hotline for Clinical Emergencies after hours on 082 883 9920.