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Worrying virus warning for 62 Qld suburbs

Queensland health officials have issued an urgent COVID-19 alert that affects more than 60 suburbs in the state after fragments of coronavirus were found in two wastewater treatment plants.

Coronavirus fragments were detected at the Bundaberg and Gibson Island plants, which cover a total of 62 suburbs.

The state's chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, is concerned because officials are unable to determine whether the fragments contain an overseas variant of COVID-19 or if they are from historical cases.

"We are concerned by the new variants that are emerging overseas that are more contagious than previous variants we have seen in Queensland," Dr Young said.

"It's also possible that this detection relates to previous COVID-19 cases that can shed viral fragments for a couple of months after they are no longer infectious."

Dr Jeanette Young has urged Queenslanders in some parts to come forward for testing. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Dr Jeanette Young has urged Queenslanders in some parts to come forward for testing. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Dr Young urged anyone with even the mildest of symptoms to come forward for testing.

"Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting, and loss of taste or smell," Dr Young said.

"It is very important people with symptoms come forward right away and get tested - we can't be complacent, we're still in this pandemic.

"It is critical we detect any cases that we may not be aware of as quickly as possible through our testing system, to contain any potential spread."

The fresh concerns come a day after fragments of COVID-19 were detected at the Cairns North, Marlin Coast (Cairns), Fairfield (Brisbane South) and Mackay South plants.

Those four plants cover 50 suburbs. A full list of COVID-19 testing locations, with interactive maps, can be found online.

Originally published as Worrying virus warning for 62 Qld suburbs



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