KZN health department waiting on listeriosis report

2018-03-19 16:54


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Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health is waiting for a report which will reveal whether there has been a listeriosis outbreak in the province.

Spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda said on Monday that the department was trying to avoid unnecessary panic and the spread of inaccurate information.

"The department wishes to appeal to the media to be patient as it awaits the weekly consolidated situational analysis report from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), due for publication on Wednesday, March 21," Mafunda said in a brief statement.

Over the weekend, the Ladysmith Gazette reported that six people in Ladysmith were affected by the disease and that there was one confirmed death.

It said Uthukela District Health Services received lab test results on Tuesday, March 13 from dairy farms and shops which were tested for listeriosis.

The results apparently came back positive for a dairy farm in Winterton and two shops that sell milk - one in Colenso and the other in Bergville.

READ: 3 500 tons of polony and cold meat returned so far

Mafunda said the NICD was responsible for performing epidemiological and laboratory investigations of infectious diseases of public health importance.

NICD spokesperson Sinenhlanhla Jimoh did not immediately comment and referred News24 to the department.

According to the Ladysmith Gazette, shops in Ladysmith which have been associated with the disease have been closed until they test negative for listeriosis.

The dairy farm has also been closed so that its systems can be cleaned out and contaminated milk can be disposed of in the correct manner.

The systems on the dairy farm apparently have to be disinfected and after that, further tests will be conducted until they come back negative for the disease.

Uthukela District Health Services said that two people contracted listeriosis in November and another two people in December.

The health district also said one person could not be located because the wrong address was supplied to them.

Those who fell ill with listeriosis have been in hospital and are currently okay.

Earlier this month, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi announced that the ST6 listeria strain, believed to be the cause of the outbreak, had been traced to Tiger Brands' Enterprise chilled meat factory in Polokwane.

The health department also confirmed that Rainbow Chicken Limited's Wolwehoek plant in the Free State was found to be contaminated with listeria, in line with the announcement made earlier this month.

ALSO READ:  RCL says French lab cleared its Wolwehoek factory of listeriosis

Preliminary results showed that several ready-to-eat processed meat products from an Enterprise facility located in Germiston also contained listeria monocytogenes, but the sequence type was not known.

Over 180 people have been killed by the disease - the largest outbreak worldwide thus far.

Read more on:    rcl foods  |  durban  |  health  |  listeriosis

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