Listeriosis is food poisoning caused by eating contaminated foods and can leave one with symptoms similar to flu or diarhoea. The disease can turn fatal as it can lead to meningitis which is an infection of the brain.
More than 60 South Africans have died from the condition and health authorities say there are currently more than 700 cases countrywide.
A few days ago, our Health Minister escalated the status to the disease to notifiable, meaning it is on par with and as serious as diseases like the plague.
Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at the NICD Dr Juno Thomas says that pregnant women are extremely high risk if they eat contaminated food.
Pregnant women in particular are at high risk when they are in their third trimester.— Dr Juno Thomas, Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at the NICD
Thomas says that one of the difficulties is that expecting mothers might not experience the severe disease themselves, but the bacteria gets into the blood stream and infects the unborn child.
Preparing food carefully and thoroughly, as well as washing your hands is crucial to combating Listeria.
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [LISTEN] The effect of Listeriosis on an unborn child