An alert has been issued over concern the highly infectious UK mutant strain of coronavirus could be unknowingly spreading through the Queensland community.
Queensland Health revealed on Monday evening Covid-19 had been detected in the Loganholme sewage catchment plant that services a total of 35 suburbs.
The sewage catchment receives waste from Berrinba, Bethania, Boronia Heights, Browns Plains, Carbrook, Cornubia, Crestmead, Daisy Hill, Edens Landing, Heritage Park, Hillcrest, Holmview, Kingston and Kuraby.
Other suburbs include Logan Central, Logan Reserve, Logan Village, Loganholme, Loganlea, Marsden, Meadowbrook, Park Ridge, Priestdale, Regents Park, Rochedale South, Shailer Park, Slacks Creek, Springwood, Stockleigh, Tanah Merah, Underwood, Waterford, Waterford West, Woodridge and Yarrabilba.
The health department's site also reveals recent detection of Covid-19 in suburbs including Yeppoon, Bundaberg, Thorneside, Loganholme, Pimpana, Coombabah, Merrimac and Elanora.
Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young was particularly concerned about the prevalence of the virus in the community given the volume of recent interstate travel.
“It is very important people with symptoms come forward right away and get tested – now more than ever – with the new cases we are seeing in other states and the amount of interstate travel that we’ve seen over the past while," she said.
“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."
Reports of the mutant strain of the virus infecting Australians was also a matter of concern for Dr Young.
“We are concerned by the new variants that are emerging overseas that are more contagious than previous variants we have seen in Queensland," she said.
Dr Young didn't rule out the possibility the fragments were from known cases of Covid-19 still shedding fragments of the virus, which can occur "for a couple of months after they are no longer infectious".
Meanwhile in Victoria, health authorities advised on Monday traces of Covid-19 were detected in six suburbs as the state battles to contain an outbreak linked to the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport quarantine hotel. The cluster from that hotel had grown to 17 on Monday.
Traces of Covid-19 in sewage were found in the Melbourne suburbs of Coburg, Reservoir, Glenroy, Westmeadows, Broadmeadows and Roxburgh Park.
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