14 March 2018

Namibia: One Case of Listeriosis Confirmed

Windhoek — A 47-year-old resident of Tsumeb is being treated for listeriosis in a Windhoek hospital. The disease has claimed almost 200 lives in South Africa.

The man, who was admitted to the Roman Catholic Hospital on March 5, fell ill after eating a Vienna sausage, which he bought at a butchery in Tsumeb.

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku, said in the National Assembly yesterday the man is "sick but stable".

The victim is a chronic hepatitis B patient, the minister revealed.

"The patient is from Tsumeb ... relevant health authorities have been informed and an investigation has commenced," a statement from the health ministry reads.

Close contacts who shared the sausage have already been taken to Tsumeb hospital for testing, according to the statement.

The butchery has also been inspected.

The health ministry issued an alert to healthcare workers at all health facilities and ports of entry on intensifying surveillance and health education on "foods to avoid" and high-risk groups to look out for, according to a statement from the ministry.

Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning caused by eating foods contaminated with the listeria bacteria and can be dangerous for certain people.

The disease is informally known as listeria.

The health ministry has also warned the public not to eat "ready-to eat" cold meats products such as polonies, Viennas, sausages, Russians, frankfurters, all types of hams, all types of salamis, smeerwors and other cold meat products from Rainbow Chicken and Enterprise Foods Ltd, South Africa.

Victims of the world's worst listeriosis outbreak in South Africa will be invited to sue the owner of the factory named as the source, a human rights lawyer said Sunday.

Attorney Richard Spoor confirmed that his firm would file a class action suit against Tiger Brands whose facility was last weekend officially revealed to be the origin of the epidemic that has claimed 180 lives.

He predicted that, if the litigation is successful, damages of hundreds of millions of rands could be awarded to victims and the families of those who died.

Since January 2017, 948 people in South Africa have contracted the disease.

Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique are among several countries across Africa that have imposed restrictions on South African meat imports in response to the crisis.


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