'Listeriosis can lead to miscarriage'

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsolaedi has confirmed that pregnant women who have contracted listeriosis are at risk of having a miscarriage.

Earlier this week the Department of Health issued an outbreak warning, confirming the deaths 36 people.

READ: 3 signs that you could be infected with Listeriosis

The food-borne disease is a serious but rare infection, mainly caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes which is found in soil, water and vegetation. It is also usually present in raw milk and other unpasteurised dairy products.

People who are vulnerable are newborn babies, pregnant woman - because when you are pregnant your immunity is not that strong. It is people whose immunity has been compromised, people who are living with Aids, diabetes mellitus, cancer, chronic kidney or liver disease.

Aaron Motsoaledi, health minister

Pregnant woman can get a miscarriage, have a still birth, give birth to a baby who is alive but already infected with listeria.

Aaron Motsoaledi, health minister

Caller, Dr Mac shared how may years ago, a woman who had contracted the disease, miscarried a least three times before being diagnosed.

She went on to antibiotics and is now the mother of two healthy children. There are very particular antibiotics, so you need to be tested for it if you suspect you have it.

Dr Mack, caller

And be aware that listeriosis bacteria can grow in a fridge.

It actually grows at the same temperature as you are preserving your ham and your salads in your fridge. If you have made a nice fresh potato salad and your fridge is contaminated with listeria and you leave it in for four days you can get listeriosis. And that goes for these readymade salads. Homemade cheeses, unpasteurised milk.

Dr Mack, caller

Motsoaledi has shred 5 key steps to food safety and prevention.

  • Keep clean and wash your hands with soap before and after handling food
  • Do not mix raw foods with cooked foods
  • Do not eat half cooked or raw foods
  • Make sure vegetables and fruit are washed thoroughly with clean running water
  • Make sure your milk is pasteurised, if not, boil it.

Click on the link below to find out more about the disease and prevention...


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