The civil rights organisation AfriForum today appealed to government to continue looking for answers as to the source of the infections. The greatest outbreak of listeriosis in the history of mankind claimed almost 200 people in less than a year in South Africa and has resulted in about 1 000 cases of infection.
According to Dr Eugene Brink, AfriForum’s Spokesperson for Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health, acknowledged himself that the disease wasn’t entirely eradicated.
“Motsoaledi also recognised that the source was still unknown. This leaves opportunity for a future outbreak of listeriosis, as well as other dangerous viruses. For this reason, further research, measures and vigilance is necessary. Until now, only the consequences of listeriosis have been addressed, but not the source,” Brink says.
More than 150 factories were linked to listeriosis during the investigation. Tonnes of food were withdrawn and destroyed.
“This shows that the source is possibly more complex than simply blaming one or two organisations or factories. Because of the disease’s inclination to thrive under humid conditions, the quality of water provision will have to be reconsidered – not only in general, but especially regarding food factories.”
AfriForum believes government and other role-players owe the public better answers.