SA listeriosis death toll now sits at 37

A Pretoria woman died at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital on Saturday.

Steve Biko Academic Hospital. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Health Department has confirmed another woman has died of listeriosis, bringing the national death toll to 37.

The Pretoria woman died at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital on Saturday.

She was seven weeks pregnant.

The department's Chika Asomugha says: “[She had] symptoms which ranged from fever, headache, neck stiffness and flu."

Listeriosis is a serious, but treatable and preventable disease caused by the bacterium, listeria monocytogenes.
It is widely distributed in nature and can be found in soil, water and vegetation.

Animal products and fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables can be contaminated from these sources.

The Health Department has listed the following symptoms:

• Flu-like illness with diarrhoea including fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness.
• Infection of the bloodstream which is called septicaemia.
• Meningoencephalitis (infection of the brain).

Individuals at high risk of developing severe disease include newborn babies, the elderly, pregnant women, persons with weak immunity such as HIV, diabetes, cancer, chronic liver or kidney disease.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)