PRETORIA - The death toll from the listeriosis outbreak has risen to 61.
That is according to the Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, who gave an update on the outbreak of the disease on Monday.
Motsaoledi said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has recorded 727 confirmed cases as at January 5.
EXPLAINER: What is listeriosis?
The majority of cases were recorded in Gauteng, with 61 percent of infections.
Babies, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems like the elderly or those infected by HIV, are most at risk.
#Listeriosis is a bacteria that is found in soil, water &vegetation.— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) January 8, 2018
Animal products & fresh produce such as fruits & vegetables can be contaminated from these sources. #Listeriosis— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) January 8, 2018
Infection with listeria may result in flu like illness with diarrhoea including fever, General body pains vomiting & weakness #Listeriosis— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) January 8, 2018
Motsoaledi said listeriosis will now be classified as a notifiable disease, because of its rapid spread and unusual or unexpected behaviour.
The strain that is driving this present #Listeriosis outbreak is ST6. It has been identified in isolated from all 9 provinces.— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) January 8, 2018
The minister said it was not yet possible to trace the source of the outbreak and that it should not be assumed that a Tshwane abattoir, that was shut down, is the origin.
#Listeriosis Motsoaledi says an abboitor (Sovereign Foods) that was shut down in Tshwane after testing positive for listeria can't be assumed to be the source of outbreak-no proof of that. pic.twitter.com/HVHOZwdmeu— silindelo masikane (@Slindelo_M) January 8, 2018
#Listeriosis Motsoaledi "strain for this outbreak we are experiencing traced to st6- BUT we can't link clinical isolates obtained from patients to a particular foodstuff or a particular food production site environment" pic.twitter.com/29i2da5HGR— silindelo masikane (@Slindelo_M) January 8, 2018