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WHO (World Health Organization) has informed Nigeria and other African countries to be aware of the deadly listeriosis disease that killed at least 100 persons in South Africa.

Listeriosis which started in 2017 has created lots of concern among the body working to make sure no death will arise due to the cause of this deadly disease.

WHO listed the other countries like Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe on Wednesday 21st March 2018 to be at risk of Listeriosis outbreak.

“This outbreak is a wakeup call for countries in the region to strengthen their national food safety and disease surveillance systems,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Listeriosis(food poisoning) caused by eating foods contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) bacterium(pathogenic bacteria). In pregnant women, the infection can result in miscarriage, premature delivery, a severe infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.

Its symptoms include sepsis, meningitis, or encephalitis, sometimes resulting in lifetime harm and even death.

With the deadline disease, the South African government has suspended the supply of meat from those countries battling to put the situation under control.

Immediate steps will include increasing awareness of listeriosis, enhancing active surveillance and laboratory diagnosis, ensuring the readiness of Rapid Response Teams(RRT), and build up coordination and emergency planning. Experts have been installed in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland to support these efforts.

In March, South Africa did host a meeting of SADC ( Southern African Development Community) health ministers to discuss and plan in preparation and counter Listeriosis.

The ministers pledged to regional cooperation to exchange information and strengthen national food safety systems conforming to International guidelines.

WHO, however, does not contemporary recommend any trade-related measures about the current outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa, other than the recall of products identified as sources of infection.

 

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