Fragments of coronavirus have been detected in Queensland sewerage, igniting speculation there could still be people with the virus moving through the community.
Queensland Health revealed on Thursday the virus had been detected at the Yeppoon sewer catchment which receives waste from Taroomball, Inverness, Hidden Valley, Rosslyn, Mulambin, Cooee Bay, Barlows Hill, Lammermoor, Meikleville Hill, Pacific Heights, Taranganba and Yeppoon.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young urged people to present for testing immediately if they experienced any symptoms, regardless of how mild they might be.
“Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting, and loss of taste or smell,” Dr Young said.
“This is especially important now more than ever, as we know the new variants emerging overseas are more contagious than previous variants we have seen in Queensland.”
An alert was also issued Wednesday after fragments of the virus were detected in the Mackay North and Cairns Marlin Coast sewage catchments.
Mackay North receives sewage from the suburbs of Beaconsfield, Richmond, Shoal Point, Bucasia, Blacks Beach, Rural View, Eimeo and Dolphin Heads, while Cairns Marlin Coast receives sewage from the suburbs of Barron, Kamerunga, Macalister Range, Yorkeys Knob, Caravonica, Trinity Beach, Smithfield, Palm Cove, Trinity Park, Clifton Beach and Kewarra Beach.
Dr Young said it would be critical to detect positive cases as soon as possible to prevent a potential outbreak.
— Queensland Health (@qldhealthnews) February 4, 2021
“It is of course also possible that this detection relates to previous Covid-19 cases who can shed viral fragments for a couple of months after they are no longer infectious,” she added.
A potential case in north Brisbane was being investigated with additional testing currently underway. Preliminary tests have returned a negative result but there are more to come.
Six people who came to Queensland from the Melbourne hotel at the centre of a separate case of Covid-19 transmission between guests were on Thursday also being sought for testing
Queensland has not recorded any community cases of the virus since January 12, when a hotel worker acquired the disease.
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