Bird flu claims quashed, illness confirmed as Influenza A

HEALTH authorities have quashed claims a man evacuated from Curtis Island this was suffering from bird flu.

A man suffering from a severe respiratory illness was airlifted from Curtis Island to Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Evacuated from the GLNG site on Monday, the man is believed to remain in a serious condition.

Sources alerted The Observer to the incident early on Wednesday morning, with rumours circulating among employees that the man had contracted bird flu.

Central Queensland Public Health Unit director Dr James Smith dispelled talk the man was carrying avian influenza.

"I can confirm a patient is in Rockhampton Hospital with a severe respiratory illness which has been confirmed as Influenza A," he said.

"There is nothing to indicate this is avian influenza."

A Bechtel spokesperson confirmed the evacuation of an employee in a brief statement provided to The Observer on Wednesday.

"The on-site medical team earlier this week recommended an employee receive additional medical attention for a personal medical condition," they said.

Most cases of influenza occur within a six to eight-week period during winter and spring.

The evacuation serves as a timely reminder for community members to immunise for the upcoming flu season.



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