Another 31 cases of listeriosis confirmed with the death toll up to 67
Its origins remain unknown, but doctors say deli meats could be a contender
Another 31 cases of listeriosis have been confirmed since January 3‚ bringing the total number since the beginning of last year to 748‚ the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) revealed on Friday. The death toll has risen from 61 to 67‚ and still the source of the outbreak — said to be the worst on record in world history — remains unknown. About 40% of those who have died were babies less than four weeks old‚ pregnant woman being 20 times more likely to contract listeriosis from eating food contaminated with the listeria pathogen than other healthy adults. The NICD reported that "final data" was only available for 21% of the 748 confirmed cases of listeriosis‚ of which 42% had died; the average mortality rate is between 20% and 25%.