THE national 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 died.
On Monday, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said: “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. ”
Since Tuesday, 5 December 2017, the department has amended the lists of notifiable diseases to include Listeriosis to allow it to track the outbreak.
He said for a disease to be notifiable, it has to meet at least two of five qualifying criteria.
“It is now evident that Listeriosis does qualify in at least two of the criteria, which are rapidly spread and unusual or unexpected behaviour. It is for this reason that the Department of Health introduced a new policy of making Listeriosis notifiable and this is appearing in Government Gazette No. 41 330 of 15 December 2017,” the Minister said.
Listeriosis is a serious, but treatable and preventable disease caused by the bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes and is widely distributed in nature and can be found in soil, water and vegetation.
The highest number of reported cases are in Gauteng followed by the Western Cape. Of the 727 cases, Gauteng has 447, Western Cape 92 and KwaZulu-Natal 51.
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