Largest Deadly Outbreak in SA since 2011. Listeriosis, the killer bacteria?

Newcastillian Clincare - Listeriosis

How safe is your food from Listeriosis, the deadly bacteria?

This is not one of those topics you simply skim over. This might save yours or a loved ones life.

This comes after the World Health Organisation considered South Africa’s Listeria outbreak, the largest outbreak since 2011.

As the figures continue to climb, it is clear that South Africa’s need to be on high alert.  So far there have been approximately 750 confirmed cases.

Apparently, an outbreak in 2011 occurred in the United States where there were an estimated 147 reported cases. These figures seem quite tame when compared to the current figure here in SA. Now with the increased flooding and heavy rains, the possibility of the bacteria’s mobility increases.

But what does this mean to us, the average Joe?

Listeriosis comes from the bacterium, listeria monocytogenes. This in turn is found in soil, water, vegetation and certain types of animal faeces.

While this is concerning, what is truly worrying is that the bacteria can contaminate our food.

This includes meat, dairy products, seafood, vegetables and fruits.

Newcastillian Clincare - Listeriosis vegetables

But this does not mean that everything you eat will contain the bacteria.

Listeriosis can only affect you if you eat carelessly produced foods. This coupled with failing to wash your hands properly or refrigerating your foods, dramatically increases your chances of contracting the bacteria.

Amoung a few things, using pasteurised diary products also minimises the chances of contracting this life threatening bacteria, as does thoroughly cooking raw meat products. Knowing where your fresh produce and meat products come from will truly play a major role in protecting you and your family.

Hold onto your hats as to date, Listeriosis has killed more than 60 people!

What are the symptoms?

If you find yourself with any of the following ailments, it is of the utmost importance that you see your family physician without hesitation or delay:

  1. Fever
  2. Stiff neck
  3. Confusion
  4. Vomiting, which is sometimes led by diarrhoea

While deadly, infection is not a death sentence as it is curable. It is the poor souls whom ignore the symptoms or who simply cannot get to a medical centre in time.

PLEASE NOTE: People who are more susceptible to Listeriosis include: pregnant women, infants and the elderly.

Allegedly, Listeriosis has an incubation period of a month, which apparently makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose.

Do South Africans have to worry about the spread of the bacteria?

According to Matlou Setati, an executive from the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), we don’t have to stress too much.

Apparently, before food products are distributed, they get tested to ensure they do not contain any harmful agents.

Carte Blanche aired its findings on January 15, 2018. Be sure to watch its findings here:

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