Third person dies in Australia after bacteria outbreak linked to melons

12 other people are ill after an outbreak of listeria, according to officials

Third person dies in Australia after bacteria outbreak linked to melons

File photo. Picture by: Heiko Wolfraum/DPA/PA Images

Melons contaminated with a dangerous bacteria have left three people dead in Australia. 

12 others are ill after an outbreak of listeria, and authorities are expecting more cases. 

The outbreak has been linked to one grower in the New South Wales area.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard of the NSW Health group explained: "All 15 cases are elderly people, and most of them have significant underlying health conditions. Six of these cases, including two of the people who died, are from NSW.

“We can confirm that 13 of the 15 cases consumed rockmelon before the onset of their illness.” 

People in the area are being urged to discard melon purchased before 1 March

Listeriosis is said to begin with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, and sometimes diarrhoea - and officials say the symptoms can take up to six weeks to appear after eating contaminated food.