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NICD: Listeriosis cases rise to 872

The NICD says 60% of the cases have occurred in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape with 13% and KwaZulu-Natal at 7%.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) says the laboratory confirmed listeriosis cases have now risen to 872 nationwide since the beginning of last year.

It says the bacteria has now claimed the lives of 164 to date.

The NICD says 60% of the cases have occurred in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape with 13% and KwaZulu-Natal at 7%.

Listeriosis is a serious but rare infection, mainly caused by eating food contaminated with a specific bacterium which is found in soil, water and vegetation.

The institute’s Juno Thomas says the ready-processed food can spread the infection.

“All we can do is advise the public to follow the World Health Organization five keys to safer food. This means washing your hands before and regularly during food preparation, keeping raw and cooked food separate and particularly chicken, seafood and meat.”

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