LISTERIOSIS: Information for NSW General Practitioners

LISTERIOSIS: Information for NSW General Practitioners

29 April 2013

Key points for GPs:
1. Three linked cases of LISTERIOSIS diagnosed in early April. The risk of new cases is low.
2. Consider LISTERIOSIS in patients at increased risk with suggestive signs and symptoms, particularly those admitted to one of the hospitals listed below from early March to 16 April.
3. Seek specialist advice for suspected cases or refer to your local Emergency Department for further assessment and testing.

Background
In Early April, three public hospital patients were diagnosed with listeriosis in different hospitals within South Western Sydney and Sydney Local Health Districts. An investigation by NSW Health and the NSW Food Authority has confirmed that all three patients tested positive to the same strain of the infection, and all had been in hospital for treatment of pre-existing serious illnesses.
Preliminary results suggest that the cases may be linked to the consumption of profiteroles served to patients in March and early April. This product has now been removed from distribution.

The profiteroles may have been served in a number of the following hospitals and facilities:

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

 

The profiteroles may also have had a limited distribution outside of these sites. The supplier immediately ceased production of all foods when informed of a possible link to the listeriosis cases. The product has a shelf-life of only a few days so it is very unlikely that any contaminated product remains.

Listeriosis Information Listeriosis is an infection usually caused by eating contaminated food. About 30 cases are reported across the state each year. The incubation period for listeriosis ranges between 3 and 70 days, with a median of 21 days. People at increased risk of listeriosis include pregnant women, the elderly and people who are immunocompromised.

Listeriosis usually presents as fever and myalgia, sometimes preceded by diarrhoea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. More serious presentations include septicaemia and meningoencephalitis. Pregnant women with listeriosis typically experience fever and other non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches. Infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn.

Further information Please contact your local public health unit on 1300 066 055 for information and to report cases. See the NSW Health media release at www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/2013/20130420_00.html . NSW Health Listeriosis fact sheet www.health.nsw.gov.au/factsheets/infectious/listeriosis.html .

 

Dr Jeremy McAnulty

Director, Health Protection NSW