Wednesday 27 May 2009

Swines enroute to Cairns

Local Cairns doctor of the Pier Medical Centre, Darren Delaney, has expressed concerns about the arrival of the a ship laden with tourist arriving in Far North Queensland.

P&O's Pacific Dawn cruise ship may be heading for Port Douglas and Cairns. It confirmed further infections of Swine Flu in the crew, who boarded the vessel in Sydney prior to departure.
"Unofficial reports have confirmed that paying passengers were not advised of the outbreak and yet were required to undertake certain sanitation requirements like dipping their hands in disinfectant before dining," Dr Darren Delaney said. "They have been subsequently allowed to fly interstate on commercial flights, another worrying thought."

The new passengers boarding the P&O vessel apparently were not advised of the risk of Swine Flu on board.

"It is a great relief that the ship has been diverted to Willis Island and although the Far North is not immune from the risk of exposure to Swine Flu," Dr Delaney says, "It's important that any cohort of exposed persons are isolated and quarantined in a suitable fashion and for public health measures to be taken to contain and limit the spread of this potentially lethal infection."

"The seemingly mild strain of Swine Flu so far in Australia which has seen a doubling of positively identified infections in less than 24 hours is reassuring. However, with mass infections the risk and loss of containment the likelihood of deaths increases substantially."

Doctors throughout the Far North have been primed for a pandemic for some time.

However, Dr Delaney warns a surge of several hundred people into the region with infections could swamp health resources and close schools, commercial precincts, and severely dampen the economy at a time when it is least needed.

"Anyone with symptoms of flu should seek medical advice from the General Practitioner and be formally tested for H1N1 virus," Delaney says. "Good public health measures include washing hands regularly with soap and water, covering sneezes and coughs with tissue which are promptly discarded, and be mindful of others with infectious symptoms."

No comments: