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Thirty-six people die in food related disease outbreak in South Africa

At least 36 people have died in an outbreak of listeria in South Africa, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has said. 

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A total of 557 cases had been reported, mostly in the economic hub of Gauteng, followed by Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal. 

Speaking at a press conference, Dr Motsoaledi said that while listeria is a serious disease, it can be treated with antibiotics.

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The bacteria is found in soil, water and vegetation, and contaminates food sources such as animal products and fresh produce.

The disase mainly affects newborns, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems.

The South African government has tweeted that washing hands is extremely important to prevent getting listeria: 

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