People with the disease usually suffer from a flu-like illness‚ diarrhoea accompanied by a fever‚ general body pains‚ vomiting and weakness.
He explained that the disease was "a serious‚ but treatable and preventable disease caused by the bacterium‚ Listeria monocytogenes".
Of the 557 cases, the department of health has found the final outcome of 70 confirmed cases of Listeriosis. However, in July 2017 Doctors from neonatal units in the Chris Hani Baragwanath and Steve Biko Academic hospitalss alerted the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) about unusually high numbers of babies with listeriosis.
"Although anyone can get Listeriosis, those at high risk of developing severe disease include newborns, the elderly, pregnant women and persons with weak immunity, HIV/Aids, diabetes, cancer, chronic liver or kidney disease [patients]".
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Minister Motsoaledi says store food at safe temperatures. "Animal products and fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables can be contaminated from these sources", Motsoaledi said, as he addressed a press briefing called to announce the outbreak.
"All the stakeholders are cooperating with the investigation led by the NICD. Environmental Health Officers are following up diagnosed cases and are visiting their homes to sample food where available." . "Listeriosis is a disease that occurs every year and is seen in our hospitals, typically 60-80 cases are detected and treated annually", said the minister.
Members of the public can contact the NICD emergency operations centre during working hours (011 386 2000) or the NICD hotline for clinical emergencies after hours (082 883 9920).
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