Notification from Ministry of Health about listeria outbreak


In a press conference held today, the Chief Epidemiologist of the Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka, Dr Samitha Ginige, stated that there has not been an outbreak of listeria in Sri Lanka. However, she emphasized the importance of being aware of listeria to protect oneself from the disease, which can cause complications in immunocompromised individuals.

Dr Ginige explained that listeriosis is a bacterial disease that is usually spread through food and that healthy individuals generally do not show any symptoms. However, complications can rarely occur, especially in pregnant women and people with long-term medical conditions or undergoing treatment for diseases such as cancer and kidney disease. She emphasized that while listeria can cause minor symptoms in healthy individuals, it can lead to severe complications such as brain fever and even death in immunocompromised individuals.

Dr Ginige confirmed that the first case of listeria was reported in Sri Lanka in late February, where a middle-aged man developed complications and died of brain fever. However, no other cases have been reported since then, and no patient suspected of having listeria has been reported from the samples tested.

Dr Ginige urged people to watch their food and water intake as listeria can spread through the milk and milk-related foods. While food and water samples tested did not report listeria, she advised people to be cautious and seek medical attention if they experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, abdominal pain, and body pains.


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