Five police officers in Listeriosis scare

Five police officers in Listeriosis scare

MASERU- FIVE police officers who attended a workshop in Cape Town last week have fallen ill with the Ministry of Health suspecting they could have contracted the deadly Listeriosis. Samples of their blood have been sent to Bloemfontein to ascertain if indeed they are suffering from the disease. Lesotho does not have the capacity to conduct the tests. The Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Monaphathi Maraka, said the five were part of 41 police officers who underwent training in Cape Town.

He said the five showed signs of the disease upon their return. The police officers were drawn from 10 districts of Lesotho.

But those from Butha-Buthe and Qacha’s Neck are the ones who have developed the symptoms. This comes a week after the Ministries of Health in both Lesotho and South Africa announced the outbreak of the disease, which has so far killed 180 people in South Africa.

No deaths have been reported in Lesotho because the Health Ministry does not have the means to test patients to see if they have contracted the Listeria bacteria.

The symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea or diarrhoea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur. But infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness.

However, police spokesman Superitendent Mpiti Mopeli has refuted allegations that there are some police officers who might have contracted Listeriosis.

He said only one police officer fell ill after attending the training programme in Cape Town. He said the officer was admitted at a hospital in Butha-Buthe but was later discharged after consultations with his doctors. Mopeli said there was nothing to suggest that those police officers had contracted the disease.

Majara Molupe

Previous Principal Chief suspended for 15 years
Next Minister blasts police

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