The listeriosis epidemic is under control after product recalls, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said during his Budget Vote in Parliament.
Cape Town – The listeriosis epidemic is under control now that meat products from Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken have been recalled, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told Parliament on Tuesday.
“Since the recall, we have had fewer than five cases a week in the past five weeks compared to 40 a week before the recall,” Motsoaledi said during his R205bn Budget Vote in Parliament
Health24 spoke to Dr Juno Thomas, the Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at the NICD, about the severity of the situation. She asserted that while the death toll has risen, it is important to look at the cases as they continue to decline: from 90 cases to 40 cases a week.
She also explained that Listeria affects people with weaker immune systems, making babies and the elderly more vulnerable to the illness. According to Dr Thomas, pregnant women with Listeriosis pass the illness on to the baby through the placenta, “hence the severity in the baby”.
Regarding the second highest group, Dr Thomas attributes this to two factors. “Firstly, women in that group are of childbearing age, and secondly this age group has the highest statistics for HIV, making them a risk factor.”