Aussies die after eating contaminated melon

Ebony Scott
March 5, 2018

A melon listeria outbreak in Australia has claimed its third victim, this time in the state of Victoria, after two persosn had already fallen victim to the malady in New South Wales.

Australian authorities on Sunday said they were checking whether rockmelons had been exported from a farm where fruit contaminated with listeria has been found to have killed three people and caused illness in 12 others.

In case the product is eaten, one should look out for symptoms of nausea, fever or gastrointestinal disorder within three to five days of consumption.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, from New South Wales Health, said: "All 15 cases are elderly people, and majority have significant underlying health conditions".

All these people had consumed rockmelon, also known as cantaloupe, before falling ill.

Fifteen elderly people have now been infected in the outbreak, which is being linked to a melon-grower in New South Wales.

"People vulnerable to listeriosis should discard any rock melon purchased before March 1".

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Other foods that can pose a risk of listeriosis include cold salads, raw seafood and unpasteurised milk products.

Further cases are expected to surface as symptoms can take up to six weeks to appear after eating contaminated produce, and NSW Health told consumers to see a doctor if they experience symptoms. The bacterium may cause septicaemia (blood poisoning) and meningitis (inflammation of brain membranes).

Dr Sutton said listeria infection was "particularly dangerous" for pregnant women, their unborn babies and elderly people.

Listeria can be spread by pets and is also found in water, soil and vegetation.

The contamination has been traced to a farm near the city of Griffith in New South Wales.

A deadly outbreak in South Africa has killed more than 170 people since January a year ago.

Other reports by GizPress

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