Outbreak of Foodborne Illness in South Africa

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1. Location: Limpopo (South Africa)

2. Diseases listed: Malaria, Foodborne illness, Cholera

3. Details of a foodborne illness (salmonellosis) outbreak in Limpopo

The South African Independent Online news, in their issue of Tuesday 28 January 2014, reported an occurrence of diarrhoea outbreak few days earlier at a lodge (Mokopane) in Limpopo. The first release of information was done by the provincial diseases’ outbreak response team on 27 January 2014 and mentioned that 42 people were hospitalized. It was believed that contaminated foods or water at the lodge were responsible for the outbreak. When the situation was revealed, food and water samples were taken immediately and analysed for identification of the causative agent. Preliminary results from the food samples identified the outbreak as a salmonella food poisoning caused by a non-typhoidal salmonella bacteria type and the whole lodge was put under quarantine. It was also reported that among the 42 cases that were treated in hospital (Voortrekker Hospital), 9 were critical but the other were discharged immediately. At the time of the information release, 5 people from the 9 critical cases were still in hospital but their health was improving.

4. Characteristics of a non-thyphoidal Salmonella food poising (salmonellosis)

Disease causative agent: Salmonellosis is a foodborne illness that occurs in all areas of the world. The causative agents are bacteria of the genus Salmonella, which are Gram negative, facultative anaerobic rods that belongs the family Enterobacteriaceae. The genus Salmonella contains 2 species (S. enterica and Salmonella bongori) and over 2500 strains referred as serovars or serotypes. Non-typhoidal serovars such as Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonell...

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...before preparing and eating food, after visiting the toilet and contact with animal stools.

5. Citations

- Hohmann EL. 2001 Nontyphoidal Salmonellosis. Food Safety 32: 263-269.

- Rabsch W, Tschäpe H, Bäumler A J. 2001 Non-typhoidal salmonellosis: emerging problems. Microbes Infection 3(3):237-247.

6. Problems: One major factor that contribute to the persistence of salmonellosis is the reluctance of people to comply with the recommendations for good hygiene practices. In addition there is an emergence and spread of non-typhoidal Salmonella strains, which are resistant to a range of antimicrobials. Resistance to antibitioc such as fluoroquinolones and third-generation cephalosporins have been reported recently, and this raise a serious public health concern. Emergence of Salmonella Enteritidis as a major egg-associated pathogen also constitute a serious threat.

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