Queensland Health is still searching for people in the state's far north who may have been exposed to a multi-drug resistant strain of tuberculosis (TB).
Last month, a woman died in Cairns Base Hospital while being treated for TB. Chief health officer Jeannette Young says anyone who was in contact with the woman for more than eight hours is being screened.
"The last number I got was something like 60 or so out of the 70, 80 or so people, because as we go and contact-trace people, then they give us information about other people, so the number slowly gets bigger," she said.
ProMED-mail's comments are extensive and enlightening. Excerpt:
The news report above concerns the tracing of contracts of a 20-year-old woman from Papua New Guinea (PNG) who had been hospitalized in Queensland in an isolation ward since May 2012 and who died on 14 Mar 2013 in Cairns Base Hospital with XDR-TB (extensively drug resistant TB). She was said to be part of an ongoing TB epidemic in PNG on Daru Island, capital of PNG's Western Province that is located just north of the Torres Strait and Cape York Peninsula (Far North Queensland) at the tip of the state of Queensland, Australia. ProMED-mail previously posted news reports on this case in 2012 and 2013 (Tuberculosis - Australia: (QL) ex Papua New Guinea 20121020.1355085 and Tuberculosis - Australia: (QL) ex Papua New Guinea, XDR, fatal 20130318.1591289). The news report, however, fails to say whether any of the patient's approximately 60 contacts was thought to have developed latent or clinically active TB and if found, how the infection was managed.