NMBM condemns listeriosis in tap water claims

2018-01-24 06:01

THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) has issued a media statement saying its tap water is safe to drink after allegations in the social media that its tap water is one of the causes of the outbreak of the listeriosis disease in Nelson Mandela Bay.

“The municipality’s drinking water preparation and distribution comply with South African National Standards 241,” the statement read.

The NMBM condemned individuals who have been spreading “inaccurate and irresponsible information about this serious issue through social media”.

“This misinformation has not only caused panic across the city, but has also led to undue pressure on our Service Delivery Call Centre, which we use to deal with water leaks, among others.

“As correctly communicated by the Department of Health, people are requested to adhere to the strictest hygienic living conditions during this time.”

The World Health Organisation recently said the listeria outbreak in South Africa, with about 750 confirmed cases, is believed to be the largest ever outbreak of the bacterial disease listeriosis.

As of January 17, it had been confirmed that nine people in the Nelson Mandela Bay had contracted the disease.

Listeriosis is generally found in water, produce (fruits and vegetables), soil, milk and ready-to-eat products.

Though Nelson Mandela Bay’s tap water has been declared safe, residents have been urged to continue to use precautionary measures to prevent infections. These methods include boiling water before drinking, not allowing babies to play in the sand and washing off all food.

In particular, babies, pregnant women, elderly folks and people with compromised immune systems are at risk.

The symptoms of listeriosis include nausea, diarrhoea and infections of the blood and brain.

The Department of Health, working with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, is leading the disease control programme.

Any formal communication about the disease will be done by either the provincial or national Department of Health.

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