2 dead, 10 sick from Listeria in Switzerland

RTS Info reports that since June, 2018, an unexplained outbreak of listeriosis, has been occurring across Switzerland. The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has identified 12 cases, 2 of which were fatal.

“What is unusual is that it is all cases of the same subtype of bacteria. We counted 12 cases, which is not that much, but 12 of the same type in a short time, it’s not normal,” said Daniel Koch, director of the Division of Communicable Diseases at the FOPH.

Research is being conducted to find the sources of the infection.

“We can talk about an epidemic and this disease can be deadly, but the population is not at risk. These germs benefit from flaws, a decrease in immunity, in the defenses of individuals. This therefore concerns especially pregnant women and the elderly,” Raffaele Malinverni, head of the Department of Medicine at the Neuchatel Hospital, told RTS on its Tuesday 12:45 broadcast.

The FOPH reminds that people at risk should avoid raw vegetables, raw or undercooked meat, raw fish and seafood, soft cheese and unpasteurized milk.
“Our survey is all the more difficult because the cases are spread all over Switzerland; it’s not easy, people have probably been infected with the same food, but it’s a food that had to be distributed in many places,” said Daniel Koch.

In 1987, more than 120 people became ill after eating Vacherin-Mont-d’or, and 30 of them died.