Pregnant women urged to be alert to Listeriosis symptoms

Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at the NICD Dr Juno Thomas has warned that pregnant women are most at risk.

Picture: Pixabay.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is warning a nationwide listeriosis outbreak is showing no signs of slowing down, with 172 people now confirmed to have died from the infection.

Pregnant women are the highest risk group to the food-borne illness.

Newborns, the elderly and adults with weak immune systems are also in danger.

The infection is caused by bacteria found in soil, water and vegetation.

Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at the NICD Dr Juno Thomas has warned that pregnant women are at risk.

“Pregnant women need to be very alert for any fever, or flu-like illness and diarrhoea. They must go and see a healthcare practitioner to be assessed, even if they don’t feel that ill.”

The Health Department has listed the following conditions linked to an infection with listeria :

• Flu-like illness with diarrhoea including fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness.;

• Infection of the bloodstream which is called septiceamia; and

• Meningoencephalitis (infection of the brain).

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)