Rwanda bans imports from South Africa over deadly virus outbreak
Rwanda has banned the importation of meat, dairy products, vegetables and fruit from South Africa over an outbreak of listeriosis viral disease.
The ban came into effect on December 19 in order to prevent the possible spread of the disease into Rwanda. Sixty people have died from the disease in South Africa, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
Rwanda bans SA imports
Rwanda’s ministry of agriculture says the importation of meat, milk and dairy products, vegetables and fruits from South Africa is banned until the country is declared free of listeriosis. Rwanda imports on average 2.4 tonnes of beef from South Africa monthly for the country’s hotels, according to the ministry of agriculture.
Farmers and vets in the country have been advised to quickly report any animals that show signs of being infected so they can be treated promptly.
Rwanda moves to prevent outbreak
Listeriosis is a form of food poisoning contracted by eating food products contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) bacterium. Listeriosis is a serious disease but largely preventable and treatable. Pregnant women, infants, elderly people and adult with impaired immune systems are most at risk and the disease can cause pregnant women to miscarry.
Symptoms typically include diarrhoea, fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness. If the disease goes untreated and reaches the nervous system, symptoms can become more serious and the risk of fatality increase. Almost all people who contract the disease are hospitalised and the mortality rate is around 20%.
Featured image: By Antoshananarivo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36903773