UPDATE 2: First listeriosis case in Namibia reported at Tsumeb

13 Mar 2018 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 13 MAR (NAMPA) – The first listeriosis case in Namibia was diagnosed in Tsumeb in the Oshikoto Region on Monday, health minister Bernard Haufiku informed Parliamentarians on Tuesday.
Haufiku said the patient contracted the disease from viennas he ate in Tsumeb, where he lives.
The patient, who is 41 years old and not 47 as reported earlier, is currently receiving treatment at the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek.
Haufiku said he is in a stable but serious condition.
“This is the first case of listeriosis reported in Namibia since the outbreak in neighbouring South Africa,” said Haufiku.
In view of the development, the Ministry of Health and Social Services warned the public to refrain from consuming any processed meat products from South Africa.
These include mainly sausages, viennas, russians and frankfurters.
“Please do not consume any of these products from South Africa,” the minister cautioned.
In addition, Haufiku said his ministry’s surveillance and monitoring systems were in full effect.
“We are confident that we are able, despite many challenges, to prevent and contain listeriosis in Namibia.
“We will do all we can with the resources at our disposal and reliance on our development partners,” he said, before calling on all Namibians, especially the private sector, to ensure that no life is lost due to the deadly disease.
“We have already lost nine lives to Hepatitis E and we cannot afford to lose more,” said Haufiku.
He further urged the public, especially in Tsumeb, to report to the nearest health facilities should they experience symptoms such as fever, diarrhoea and vomiting, muscle aches, headache and confusion.
In addition, an order has since been given to environmental health practitioners to inspect all retailers selling meat products and to ensure that the implicated products are removed from shelves and destroyed.
Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning caused by eating foods contaminated with Listeria bacteria and can be dangerous for certain people.
Deputy Speaker of the NA, Loide Kasingo joined Haufiku in calling on measures to be put in place for those with meat products implicated in the listeriosis outbreak to return those products to retailers and be reimbursed.
Since the outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa in January last year, a total of 949 cases have been reported and 180 patients have died as a result, according to the South African Centre for Enteric Diseases.