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2 Patients In Singapore Infected With Similar Strain Of Listeria As Australia Outbreak
April 17th, 2018 | 09:13 AM | 133 views
Two people in Singapore were infected with a strain of listeria similar to the one found in a patient in Australia that is tied to rockmelons, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on Monday (April 16).
One of the patients has recovered from the infection while the other died “for reasons not due to the listeria infection”.
When asked by TODAY for more details about the patient who died, the MOH said it was unable to provide more details "due to patient confidentiality".
Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation confirmed that a listeria outbreak in Australia linked to contaminated rockmelons has killed seven people and caused one miscarriage.
In March, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) recalled all rockmelons imported from Australia as a “precautionary measure”, even as it expanded an earlier recall involving two consignments from a grower linked to the deadly bacteria outbreak.
Even though the MOH said its initial investigations following the notification of listeriosis cases did not show a link between the five cases of listeriosis in Singapore this year and the Australian outbreak, further laboratory investigations were carried out.
Results from the National Public Health Laboratory’s genetic sequence analysis on listeria bacteria strains obtained from the five patients show that two of the cases were infected by the listeria strain ST240, which had a similar gene sequence to the listeria strain found in a patient in Australia affected by the outbreak of listeriosis in Australia this year.
However, the ministry added there is no further health risk from the Australia outbreak as the “risks have been mitigated through the recall of the implicated consignments in March 2018”.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely,” said the MOH.
LISTERIA: CAUSES AND PREVENTION
Listeria is a common bacteria present in the soil, and poses a health problem if raw food is not properly washed before consumption. The key to prevention of listeriosis lies in hand hygiene, safe handling, cooking and consumption of food. People can reduce risk for listeriosis by:
Thoroughly washing raw vegetables and fruits before eating. Peel them if necessary;
Thoroughly cooking raw food from animal sources (i.e. beef, pork, poultry, etc.);
Keeping uncooked meats separate from vegetables, fruits, cooked and ready-to-eat food;
Avoiding raw (unpasteurised) milk or foods made from raw milk;
courtesy of TODAY
by ASYRAF KAMIL
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