Botswana warns of Listeriosis outbreak in neighboring S. Africa
The Botswana government on Tuesday issued a warning on the outbreak of Listeriosis, a food-borne disease, in neighbouring South Africa.
According to a media release from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, there is an outbreak of the disease in their southern neighbour where 557 laboratory cases have been confirmed as well as 36 deaths reported since the beginning of the year.
The release said most cases and deaths were reported from Gauteng and the Western Cape. A ministry official confirmed that no case has been recorded in Botswana yet.
Listeriosis is a bacterial infection that primarily affects the elderly, the immune-compromised, pregnant women and new borns.
It is contracted by consumption of contaminated foods such as meat, dairy and milk products, fruits and vegetables.
The ministry said it will continue monitoring the situation and give regular update to the public.
Botswana shares a long border with South Africa and many locals travel to South Africa daily for shopping, leisure and visiting relatives.
The number of Botswanians travelling to South Africa usually increases significantly in December for festivities associated with the upcoming Christmas holidays.
Many Botswanians also work and live in South Africa.
Botswana also imports food products including fresh fruits and vegetables from South Africa.
Meanwhile South African media reported on Monday that the country's health department was still investigating the source of the outbreak.