North West Health MEC Dr Magome Masike says three cases of listeriosis were reported in North West, two people had died and one was in hospital. Picture: Molaole Montsho/ANA

Brits - Two people have died due to listeriosis in South Africa's North West province, Health member of the executive council (MEC) Dr Magome Masike said on Thursday.

"We lost one patient in Klerksdorp and another in Rustenburg, we got another on admitted now in [hospital in] Klerksdorp. Listeriosis has always been a disease that has been there, it responds to ordinary drugs, its easy to treat, you can kill it with penicillin, the difficulty is to detect it," Masike said.

He said listeriosis presents flu-like symptoms, and when it gets worse it presents gastroenteritis (diarrhoea and vomiting).

"Anybody can have diarrhoea and vomiting, unless you do the right test," he said.

He said only three case have been reported in the province to date.

Listeriosis affects mainly pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and adults with impaired immune systems.

Healthy adults and children sometimes are infected, but they rarely become seriously ill. Babies can be born with listeriosis if their mothers eat contaminated food during pregnancy.

He was speaking to reporters in Hartbeespoort Dam near Brits, following the provincial executive council meeting (Exco).

In their meeting on Wednesday, the Exco approved that a traffic training college should be build in the province. The size and cost of the traffic college was not yet determined.

African News Agency/ANA