SINGAPORE: Two patients in Singapore had been infected with a listeria strain similar to an outbreak in Australia tied to rockmelons, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday morning (Apr 16).
One patient has recovered while the other died for reasons not due to the listeria infection, the ministry said.
MOH said its National Public Health Laboratory had completed genetic sequence analysis on listeria bacteria strains obtained from the five patients who had listeria disease this year.
Australia’s rockmelon listeria outbreak killed seven people and caused one miscarriage between Jan 17 and Apr 6, the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week.
The deaths were linked to the consumption of rockmelons contaminated with listeria. The rockmelons were exported to at least nine countries, including Singapore, the WHO said.
Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority on Mar 8 announced a recall of all rockmelons from Australia as a “precautionary measure”.
Symptoms include fever and muscle aches, preceded by diarrhoea or other gastrointestinal symptoms that appear within 70 days after consumption of the contaminated food item.