Fifth person dies as a result of rockmelon listeria outbreak

A rockmelon is seen on a kitchen bench in Sydney, Wednesday, August 3, 2016. Source: AAP

Health authorities have confirmed a third Victorian has died from listeria linked to rockmelons.

A fifth person had died as a result of the national outbreak of listeria linked to rockmelons.

The man, in his 80s, died earlier in the week, with Victoria's deputy chief health officer confirming his death was caused by listeria on Friday.

Three people have died from listeria in Victoria and two more in New South Wales as a result of the contaminated produce.

All affected melons, from the NSW Riverina, have been withdrawn from sale.

A rockmelon grower at Nericon, in the NSW Riverina, has since been identified as the source of suspect fruit.

The producer agreed to stop distribution after being told about the contamination.

But the NSW government and health authorities were accused of taking too long to warn the public after investigations began in January.

Listeria begins with flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhoea, which can take days or weeks to appear following the consumption of contaminated produce.

Source AAP - SBS


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