listeriosis outbreak south africa

Listeriosis is a serious, but treatable and preventable disease caused by the bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes and is widely distributed in nature and can be found in soil, water and vegetation.

Furthermore, animal products and fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables can be contaminated from these sources.


  • Flu like illness with diarrhoea including fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness.
  • Infection of the blood stream which is called septiceamia.
  • Meningoencephalitis (infection of the brain).

Individuals at high risk of developing severe disease include newborns, the elderly, pregnant women, persons with weak immunity such as HIV, diabetes, cancer, chronic liver or kidney disease.

According to the Department of Health, the age groups that are most affected are neonates, that means the first 28 days of life (37%) and the age group between 15 to 49 years (33%). It states that the two groups comprise 70 per cent of all cases.

Botswana has also issued a press release on the outbreak, you can download the PDF here > Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness Press Release - Listeriosis Outbreak in South Africa

The press release advises that the disease is contracted by the consumption of contaminated foods as listed above.

In addition, as the press release warns; if you are planning on travelling to South Africa, please ensure that you take all necessary precautions such as eating hygienically prepared, properly packed and well cooked foods and maximise personal hygiene during feeding.

Please share this post with friends and family, we have personally come across people exhibiting the symptoms listed above and have asked them to go see a doctor so this is not something to be ignored.

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Sources: Department of Health | Botswana Press Release | Feature Image