20 April 2013

Three people, all public hospital patients during early April, have been diagnosed with listeriosis.

Two of the patients – one at Concord Hospital and another at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital – remain in hospital and are responding well to treatment. The third – at Campbelltown Hospital – was being treated for a terminal illness and tested positive for listeriosis​ after his death.

NSW Director of Health Protection Jeremy McAnulty said an investigation by public health epidemiologists and the NSW Food Authority has confirmed all three patients tested positive to the same strain of the infection and all had been in hospital for treatment of pre-existing serious conditions.

The investigation is ongoing into the possible cause of infection in the patients.

”Preliminary results suggest that the cases may be linked to consumption of profiteroles served to patients in March and early April,” Dr McAnulty said.

As a precaution, profiteroles were immediately withdrawn from all patient meals. The profiteroles were provided to patients in the following hospitals in Sydney and South West Sydney Local Health District:.

  • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
  • Concord Hospital
  • Balmain Hospital
  • Canterbury Hospital 
  • Liverpool  Hospital 
  • Campbelltown Hospital 
  • Bankstown Hospital 
  • Bowral Hospital 
  • Fairfield Hospital 
  • Camden Hospital
  • Tressillian at Canterbury
  • Braeside
  • Karitane.

Listeria bacteria is common in the environment and some raw foods. People at risk include pregnant women, newborns, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

The incubation period for listeria is typically a few weeks but can be as long as 70 days in rare cases.

”Due to the limited distribution of the profiteroles, the likelihood of further infections is low, but it is recommended that any patients who consumed profiteroles at one of the hospitals listed above in March or early April contact their doctor or Healthdirect​ (number below) if they develop symptoms of listeriosis,” said Dr McAnulty.

Those symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhoea, and miscarriage in pregnant women.

The NSW Food Authority is working with the food suppliers to ensure there is no ongoing risk to public health. The supplier immediately ceased production of all foods when informed of a possible link to the listeriosis cases.

No further cases of listeria have been identified at this stage.

Members of the public with health concerns should phone Health Direct: 1800 022 222

Media Enquiries:

Information about listeria can be found on the NSW Health website at

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/listeriosis.aspx

For a range of health information, go online to www.health.nsw.gov.au

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