After a female employee of a canteen on the Sri Pada Pilgrimage Road contracted Listeria and died, the Health Department is putting restaurants on the Sri Pada Road under strict scrutiny.
After a 53-year-old woman, resident of Erathne, who was working in a restaurant in Berumandiya area on the road where pilgrims to Sri Pada travel along Erathne and Sri Palabaddala roads, died due to an illness caused by Listeria, public health inspectors have inspected all restaurants and outlets selling food along the Sri Pada Road. Steps are being taken
to obtain food samples from these places immediately and to send them to the Colombo Medical Research Institute for testing.
The autopsy in relation to the sudden death of the woman who worked in this restaurant, conducted at the Ratnapura Teaching Hospital it was confirmed that the woman had died due to a bacterial infection. Microbiological tests have identified this bacteria as Listeria monocytogenes.
Although it has been reported that another person and a girl who went on pilgrimage to Sri Pada have died in the last few days, their test reports have not yet been received, and it has not yet been confirmed that they died as a result of ingesting this germ.
Dr. Nelum Dassanayake said that Listeria Monocytogenes hkq is a species of Gram-positive bacteria, and it is commonly found in soil and rotting sludge in the outdoor environment.
It is said that people can ingest this bacteria through frozen food, pasteurized milk, cheese, sausages, etc. The doctor also pointed out that this disease can rarely be dangerous for those who have a normal health condition but persons who could contract this bacteria are the elderly, small children, pregnant women and persons will less immunity such as those suffering from diabetes and cancers.
Health sectors indicate that this bacterium can cause meningitis and even death due to bacteremia. This bacteria, which is ingested through food, enters the bloodstream through intestinal walls and travels to the brain, where there is a risk of death.
The public is requested by health sectors to seek immediate medical treatment if a pregnant woman is exposed to this bacteria because it could cause infection in the placenta and it can travel to the foetus as well. If vomiting, back pain, diarrhoea, headache, fever and fainting are experienced patients are requested to obtain medical treatment.