Amanda McGrath of Louise Bar promotes healthy eating and drinking as a way to combat flu and stomach bugs currently hitting locals.
Amanda McGrath of Louise Bar promotes healthy eating and drinking as a way to combat flu and stomach bugs currently hitting locals. Chrissy Harris

Nasty diseases invade Gladstone

RESIDENTS are being urged to lead healthy lifestyles and check they’ve got all their immunisations up to date with cases of whooping cough, suspected virulent salmonella, influenza A and swine flu in the region.

Port Curtis Medical Centre’s Dr Colan McGree said there had been an explosion of whooping cough (pertussis) cases.

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said there have been 32 confirmed notifications of pertussis in Central Queensland in the four weeks to April 3.

“If you have a persistent cough, you need antibiotics within the first two weeks otherwise you will cough for up to three months,” Dr McGree said.

He also advised anyone aged 30 and 50 to get the immunisation shot for whooping cough again, plus 50 year-olds to get the measles/mumps/rubella immunisation again.

Dr McGree said there also seemed to be a spike in severe incapacitating gastroenteritis, but it was suspected they were actually virulent salmonella cases.

“I’ve had anecdotal reports of it in Bundaberg and Brisbane.”

Dr McGree said salmonella tended to occur in the warmer months, and considering the warm weather that has been experienced in the region in recent weeks, it was not unusual to see cases.

Gladstone Central Medical Centre’s Dr Stephen Rigby said he had seen eight or nine cases in recent weeks.

“We’ve had a resurgence of swine flu. It hasn’t been as severe (as past cases),” Dr McGree said.

“There was a Queensland Health notification about mumps about one or two weeks ago, brought in by a tourist.”

There was a reported case of meningococcal conjunctivitis in Gladstone in recent weeks.

“It’s coming up meningococcal season again in Gladstone,” Dr McGree said.

 

Tips to stay healthy:

Check immunisations are up to date.

Eat healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, lean red meat and at least one serving of seafood a week.

Wash hands with antibacterial soap as much as possible.

Stand at least 2 metres away from someone you suspect is sick.



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