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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Listeriosis outbreak looms in Nigeria, 15 African countries, says WHO

Listeriosis outbreak is looming in Nigeria and 15 other African countries, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Confirming this development, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, listed other redline countries to include Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

“This outbreak is a wake-up call for countries in the region to strengthen their national food safety and disease surveillance systems,” Moeti declared.

Experts have described Listeriosis as a bacterial infection most commonly caused by Listeria monocytogenes, which could cause severe illness, including severe sepsis, meningitis, or encephalitis, sometimes resulting in lifelong harm and even death.

They also said that listeria is ubiquitous and is primarily transmitted via the oral route after ingestion of contaminated food products

As said by WHO an estimated 200 South Africans have died since January 2017 as a result of contaminated ready-to-eat meat products that are widely consumed in the country and may also have been exported to two West African countries and 14 members of the South African Development Community.

South African health authorities recently declared the source of the outbreak as a factory in Polokwane, in the country’s northeast.

Isaac Oyimah with additional reports from ThePunch.

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