Department of Health
Published by Department of Health & Human Services

Victoria's Deputy Chief Health Officer, Dr Brett Sutton has confirmed there are now five Victorian cases linked to a national outbreak of listeriosis.

"Tragically, one of these cases has died," Dr Sutton said.

Dr Sutton said this person had been hospitalised and diagnosed with listeriosis. Subsequent testing has linked them to the outbreak strain.

The Victorian cases ages range from 65 to 88 and include three men and two women.

All affected melons have been withdrawn from sale and distribution.

Rockmelons now available for sale are not affected.

All states and territories are continuing to work together to investigate this national outbreak.

If consumers are uncertain of the origin of a rockmelon it should be disposed of in the waste bin, not into compost bins, to avoid further contamination.

Listeria infection is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, their unborn babies and elderly people. It can cause death in people with compromised immune systems.

Pregnant women should avoid eating pre-cut melons (such as rockmelon or watermelon) salads, cold seafood and cold deli meats, soft cheeses, soft-serve ice cream, dips and any unpasteurised dairy products.

Infection in pregnant women may be mild and a temperature before or during birth may be the only sign. However, the infection can be transmitted to the foetus through the placenta which can result in stillbirth or premature birth.

Listeriosis starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, and sometimes diarrhoea. In immunosuppressed patients, listeriosis usually presents as a brain inflammation, brain abscess or blood poisoning. Pneumonia, and heart valve infections have also been described.

For more information on food safety and listeria visit the Better Health ChannelExternal Link .

Reviewed 02 March 2018


Contact details

Bram Alexander Department of Health Media Unit

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