Listeriosis Outbreak in South Africa

Photo: Shutterstock, Kateryna Kon

The ongoing Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa that began in January of 2017 has infected over 978 individuals as of March 14th of this year. The majority of these cases came from a province known as Gauteng. Over 183 patients have died from this outbreak that is still not fully under control. However, many of these deaths came from at risk populations such as neonates and those that are pregnant.  Listeriosis is caused by a bacterium that is found in the soil, water, or in vegetation, including food, that is then contracted by humans. It has the potential to develop into meningitis and septicemia which are fatal infections of the brain and blood respectively. The WHO recommends countries to strengthen its food safety and disease surveillance programs to prevent similar outbreaks from taking place. To read more about the outbreak, click here.

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