…Advises those travelling to SA to be cautious
By Confidente Reporter
THE medical fraternity has expressed concern over the rife circulation of contradictory Hepatitis E messages on social media, stressing that the public should be cautious because the food borne disease can be fatal.
The fraternity through renowned Dr. Makemba Shayela Nelson expressed concern after video clips with reckless messages on the disease were circulated on social media, especially on Facebook, while warning locals not to take chances with the outbreak.
Nelson also cautioned those travelling to neighbouring South Africa, where the disease broke out, to avoid consuming products such as polony and viennas that might cause the disease.
“The medical fraternity has with greatest concern noted public figures posting Facebook video clips with disturbing and contradictory messages and we strongly condemn such behaviours.
The public is therefore warned not to take the outbreak lightly and respond accordingly.
“People must refrain from consuming implicated products and dealerships are advised to refrain from selling such products. To those that are travelling especially to South Africa, be careful and do not consume the products that are said to be the cause of the problem.” Nelson noted that because Namibia and South Africa share excellent bilateral relationships, the former imports goods from the latter including the implicated products.
He however said that the Ministry of Health and Social Services under the leadership of Dr. Bernard Haufiku has given directives to all outlets (supermarkets) to remove the implicated products from their shelves especially the Tiger Brand products where the outbreak emanates from.
Locally in Namibia so far this year, only one case of a 41-year old man that bought vienna sausages from a butchery in Tsumeb was recorded.
“Although local producers have indicated that their products have been exonerated, we urge the public to remain vigilant always.”
Nelson advised that if an individual develops signs and symptoms, such as diarrhoea and fever, especially after having eaten the said products should urgently visit the nearest health facility for further evaluation and management.
“The medical fraternity want to reassure the public that the Ministry of Health have a system in place to mitigate all unforeseen circumstances. In conclusion we urge the public to abide by the simple instructions that have been availed to the public domain and avoid being controversial at all times.”
Hepatitis E facts
Considering the recent outbreak of Listeriosis in South Africa, below are some of the basics that the public at large need to know.
Listeriosis is a disease caused by bacteria called Listeria Monocytogenes. It often presents with fever, diarrhea, vomiting, generalized body pains and weakness. Listeriosis is a serious condition but often preventable and treatable.
The bacteria itself naturally occurs in water, soil and vegetation. Therefore animal products example polony, russians and viennas which are by far most implicated in the recent outbreak can be contaminated. Broadly fruit and vegetables can too be contaminated and cause the infection.
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