Emergency room generic.
Emergency room generic. Tobi Loftus

Virus 'outbreak' tears through CQ town, many hospitalised

AN OUTBREAK of gastro has torn through a group Central Queensland people with many hospitalised.

The Central Highlands Regional Council has been advised that a number of people have become unwell and presented to Emerald Hospital with symptoms of gastroenteritis after attending a function at the Emerald Town Hall last Friday.

The cause of the outbreak is unclear at this stage and the Central Queensland Public Health Unit (CQPHU) started an investigation yesterday, which is expected to take a couple of days.

The first step was to contain the outbreak.

The town hall is currently being sterilised and will remain out of service until further notice. Bookings are being moved to McIndoe Park Function Centre.

The CQPHU advised there were a number of causes of gastroenteritis, including food-borne diseases and a virus that is transmitted from person to person.

Both faeces and vomit are infectious, therefore it is important to use good hand-washing and other hygiene practices at home.

It was recommended that any contaminated areas are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected immediately after an episode of illness by using a bleach-based household cleaner.

Anyone that attended last week's function or feels unwell with gastro symptoms was urged to see a doctor.

Individuals affected by the illness were advised to stay at home until 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped because transmission is still possible during this time.

Particular care should be taken by individuals employed in high risk of contamination areas such as childcare centres and schools.



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