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Ghana issues listeriosis health alert amid SA outbreak

While South African authorities try to get to the source of the countrywide outbreak, health officials in Ghana are trying to prevent it from spreading to the West African nation.

FILE: A microscopic view of the listeria bacteria. Picture: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ABIDJAN - The Ghanaian Ministry of Health has issued a public health alert on listeriosis following an outbreak of the disease in South Africa.

Listeriosis is food poisoning caused by eating foods contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacterium.

It has claimed the lives of at least 61 people, most of them in Gauteng, since the beginning of December.

While South African authorities try to get to the source of the countrywide outbreak, health officials in Ghana are trying to prevent it from spreading to the West African nation.

In a statement, the Ghanaian Ministry of Health says it has noted with concern the outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa.

The department says it will be stepping up its surveillance of products being imported from there, including meat, dairy products, as well as fruit and vegetables.

It has further urged the public to remain calm as they continue to monitor, investigate and assess the quality of plant and animal products coming from South Africa.

LISTEN: Listeriosis now a 'notifiable disease' as state tries to find source

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)