Listeriosis: Cape Town woman hospitalised but cases taper off

2018-11-05 22:37
A transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a Listeria sp bacterium in a tissue sample. (Getty)

A transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a Listeria sp bacterium in a tissue sample. (Getty)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sporadic cases of listeriosis continue to affect South Africans even after the outbreak that killed 180 South Africans was declared over earlier this year.

Only last week, a 37-year-old woman from Tafelberg, Cape Town, was hospitalised after she was diagnosed with listeriosis.

Chantelle Wright suffered from migraines for a period of two to three weeks before she went to see a neurologist.

READ: Listeriosis outbreak officially over - Motsoaledi

"She was admitted to hospital on Tuesday and on Thursday the doctor said: 'I have good news and bad news – good news is we know what's wrong with you, bad news you can't go home'," Wright's husband, Henry, explained to News24.

"We asked him what's going on and he said that she has listeriosis. She's doing a lot better than last week, so we expect her to be out by the end of this week or next week."

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection that can cause severe illness – including severe sepsis, meningitis, or encephalitis – sometimes resulting in lifelong harm and even death.

The father of three said that the diagnosis scared him as the entire family ate the same food.

"We stopped eating the polony products – we threw that stuff out. Sometimes we order food from a company in Bellville that makes homemade food, or we order take-out – so it's difficult to pinpoint the cause," he said.

12 000 tons of food destroyed

In September, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that the listeriosis outbreak was officially over.

This meant that processed meat products could be consumed, but he urged people to pay attention to proper food safety, pointing out that while the outbreak was over, the disease was not completely gone.

He also said that despite concerted efforts, investigators had not been able to pinpoint exactly where the outbreak originated.

Motsoaledi said at the time that 62% of the listeriosis cases had occurred in Gauteng, and about 900 health inspectors in all districts were retrained.

The department identified 157 factories with listeria, and over 12 000 tons of food was recalled and destroyed.

Sporadic instances will occur for years to come

Spokesperson for the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) Dr Juno Thomas explained to News24 that while the listeriosis outbreak may be over, sporadic instances will occur for years to come.

"There have been a few sporadic cases in Cape Town, but there have also been sporadic cases nationwide and we expect that," she said.

"The bacteria is so widespread in our environment that the incidental contamination of food products will happen. Every now and then a high-risk person for the disease may be affected."

High-risk persons include pregnant women, those with HIV, diabetes, cancer, liver or kidney disease, and those aged over 65.

Thomas added that the NICD is continuing to monitor listeriosis cases to identify outbreaks early.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    aaron motsoaledi  |  cape town  |  health news  |  listeriosis

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.