Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole has issued a statement calling the public to be wary of food items from South Africa as food poisoning continues unabated since December.
Responsible for the food poisoning is a bacteria known as Listeria Monocystogene causing listeriosis disease which has reached an epidemic proportion. The disease can be contacted by eating animal sourced food such as meat, poultry products, dairies, and crop foods like fruits and vegetables. Several casualties were recorded in December while in this January alone, death toll has reached 61.
Reuters reported officials of South Africa’s health department, saying that the disease is not resistant to drugs if diagnosed and treated on time. According to them, most of the death recorded were due to delays in diagnosis and treatment. They decry the ineffectiveness of South Africa’s health department in tackling the issue of food poisoning in the country.
In view of the fact that Nigerians like cheap imported food, they have been advised to wash fruits and vegetables properly and ensure meats are well cooked before consumption.
Prof Adewole has directed NAFDAC to intensify surveillance and monitoring of food items and enforce adherence to standards.The Port Health Officials and other relevant agencies have been sensitized to increase vigilance at the points of entry into Nigeria. This food poisoning disease can present diarrhea and flu-like symptoms. In more severe cases the pathogen can spread from intestine to cause infection in the bloodstream or to the central nervous system to cause meningitis.
However, the public is advised to maintain calmness as the situation in South Africa is being closely monitored and they shall be intimated of significant developments.
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