Gauteng govt warns of spread of misleading listeria info

A voice note has been circulating on WhatsApp claiming that government has tried to conceal the real death toll and the seriousness of the disease.

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

JOHANNESBURG - There are warnings about the spread of false information regarding the outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa.

A voice note has been circulating on WhatsApp claiming that government has tried to conceal the real death toll and the seriousness of the disease.

At least 61 people have been confirmed dead, with over 700 reported cases nationwide.

Johannesburg Health MMC Doctor Mpho Phalatse is warning against the spread of false information on the listeriosis outbreak.

She said: “To tell people to stay away from chicken is incorrect. We’re trying to disseminate correct information on what foods to avoid and how to handle food. So chicken can certainly be ingested provided that it is handled correctly. And the allegations about government sitting on information, I cannot confirm those and I would not comment."