Listeriosis death toll spikes sharply

File: Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi speaks during the Stop TB Conference in Cape Town.
File: Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi speaks during the Stop TB Conference in Cape Town.

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. 

 

Motsoaledi said listeriosis will now be classified as a notifiable disease, because of its rapid spread and unusual or unexpected behaviour.

 

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.