Townsville flood authorities confirm death from soil bacteria, several others in intensive care

| 13.02,19. 05:19 AM |



Townsville flood authorities confirm death from soil bacteria, several others in intensive care




Photo: People helping with the Townsville flood clean-up are being warned to wear protective clothing. (AAP Image: Dan Peled)


A person has died in Townsville after contracting the dangerous soil-borne disease melioidosis amid a spike in cases in the wake of the north Queensland city's flood disaster


Townsville public health unit acting director Dr Julie Mudd said the patient died "a couple of days ago" and that several other people with the disease remain in intensive care.


"Currently we have 10 confirmed cases [in Townsville] with one person who is deceased," Dr Mudd said.


"Not all of them needed intensive care but we have had a number of people who were significantly unwell.


"We are expecting more — given that we've had 10 so far, the period of risk is over the next few weeks."


Dr Mudd's latest comments come a day after she said eight people had been diagnosed with the environmental bacteria.


Contaminated soil and water can infect people with compromised immune systems.


"Melioidosis is not a disease that usually occurs in fit, healthy people — it usually comes up in people who have chronic disease or conditions that impair their immune system," Dr Mudd said.


"Our messaging has been around people with chronic health conditions being extra careful and making sure they're not cleaning up mud and so forth themselves."


People cleaning up after the floods are advised to wear protective equipment, cover any wounds and protect their airways if working around mud.


Dr Mudd said health authorities usually treated seven or eight cases of melioidosis a year.


"The wetter the season, the more cases we see, so we were anticipating an increase in cases in response to this event," she said.


She said the risk of contracting the disease could continue for the next few months as contaminated soil is displaced.


abc


(Votes: 0)

Other News

Structures at Jubullum Aboriginal community destroyed as bushfire emergency grips NSW Hakeem al-Araibi arrives in Australia after spending two months detained in a Thai prison Hakeem al-Araibi to return to Australia after Thai court rules extradition case be dropped Queensland police investigate shooting of 40-year-old woman at Karawatha property Cyclist dies after being hit by a truck on the Federal Highway at NSW and ACT border Chinese billionaire wants political parties to pay back his donations Nine rescued from flash flooding as severe thunderstorm hits Sydney Qantas officially cancels Airbus A380 order as manufacturer struggles to maintain production Cyber security breach on Parliament likely a foreign government attack AMP executives facing potential criminal charges over fees for no service, Federal Court hears NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn and chair Ken Henry resign in the wake of banking royal commission Emergency warning for bushfire in Forrestdale, south of Perth, as homes, schools threatened CCC releases CCTV showing police punching man seven times during Fremantle arrest Townsville flood clean-up to begin in earnest as severe weather eases Parking fines issued by the hundreds on residential streets by NSW Police forces backflip Townsville flooding continues as hundreds wait for waters to recede Unsafe gas levels found on Sydney party boat where woman died Banking royal commission report takes axe to sales culture in finance Townsville flooding forces hundreds to evacuate, leaves police clinging to trees after dam gates fully opened Police officer dies in hospital after head-on Sydney crash Child dies at home in Sydney's west Woman in her 30s dies on party boat on Sydney Harbour Townsville flooding could worsen with more heavy rain and dam releases Former policeman succeeds in $1 million claim from driver's insurer after fatal crash Disaster declared in Townsville, landslip from heavy rain threatens properties Two drivers, including police officer, critical after multi-vehicle crash in Sydney's south Qld big wet causes flooding, landslips MH370 may have crashed near Madagascar, underwater microphones suggest Doctor's wife confirmed as second person found dead in central Queensland home Swimmer dies at northern NSW beach