The outbreak of listeriosis that was declared in Dec. 2017 linked to ready-to-eat processed meat products has been declared over by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi Monday.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

This was the world’s worst listeria outbreak sickening some 1,060 and killing 216 since December.

No new cases of the outbreak strain has been recorded since the beginning of June and over the past two months, the incidence of lab-confirmed listeriosis cases have dropped back to pre-outbreak levels.

The government investigation traced the outbreak to two food-processing factories in the country, prompting a recall of 5,812 tonnes of affected food stuffs since March.

According to the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), there are between 60 and 80 cases of listeriosis in the country for the past five years.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, but Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.