Emergency medical equipment in accident and emergency at Nambour General Hospital.
Emergency medical equipment in accident and emergency at Nambour General Hospital. Iain Curry

Queensland health keeping an eye on E.Coli infections

AT LEAST 32 people have been found carrying E.Coli bacteria, with Queensland Health keenly watching a further 17 for signs of infection.

Four were hospitalised and have since been released.

Less than a fortnight ago, Queensland Health warned four people including a 33-year-old woman and three children aged six, 11 and 13 were infected after visiting the Ekka in Brisbane.

The symptoms for Shiga toxin-producing E.Coli include bloody and persistent diarrhoea, which develops within two to 10 days of infection.

Anyone with those symptoms should not be heading to work, school or sent to child care.

Queensland Health chief health officer Dr Stephen Lambert said parents should have children checked by a GP if showing signs of the infection.

After first suffering from these already unpleasant symptoms, those with E.Coli could be at risk of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which can result in kidney failure.

Dr Lambert said because infections like E.Coli spread from person to person, washing hands after using toilets, changing nappies, handling food and before eating was especially important.

"Thorough hand washing with soap and water is the key to preventing the spread of these infections," he said.

In late August, Queensland Health expected no new cases from the Ekka but warned the infection could spread.



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