News

Pandemic strikes Gympie area

Craig Warhurst

QUEENSLAND Health officials are preparing for what has already been labelled a “perfect storm” of winter illnesses, as swine 'flu and whooping cough pandemics combine dangerously with normal winter colds and 'flu.

As health officials in other states predict massive strain on systems and resources in coming weeks, Queensland officials reported the state's first swine 'flu death and a jump in confirmed swine 'flu cases from 2647 at noon Wednesday to 2769 by yesterday morning.

In Gympie's health district, the number of confirmed cases jumped from 210 on Sunday to 274 by Wednesday.

And the latest Gympie Regional Council figures show the possible beginnings of a local whooping cough outbreak, with five confirmed cases of the notifiable disease reported by our region's doctors between May 25 and June 14.

WITH swine 'flu described by medical authorities as much more dangerous to people with other respiratory problems as well, the prospect of two respiratory pandemics coinciding had health authorities worried across the continent.

One Tasmanian health official this week predicted “one of the worst winters for (that state's) health service in a long time.

“Partly because of (swine 'flu ), partly because of the whooping cough outbreak. There's a lot of respiratory illness out there that isn't 'flu and, of course, there's seasonal 'flu,” she said.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh yesterday announced the provision of free whooping cough vaccine for new parents to help combat a nationwide outbreak of the disease.

She said the disease, also known as Pertussis, was now four times higher nationally and in Queensland than was the case this time last year.

She said that three babies with whooping cough had died in Australia so far this year and more than 15,000 adults and children had been diagnosed with the disease.

Ms Bligh said the $3 million program would run for an initial six months from August 1, followed by an assessment of its effectiveness and whether the current outbreak had subsided.

She said it was important parents be vaccinated to prevent them from passing the highly contagious disease onto new born babies, who cannot be vaccinated.

The vaccine can only be given to babies after two months of age, she said.

Gympie Times


No concrete plans for Kybong servo staff

Matilda the kangaroo is at the Matilda Service Station at Kybong.

There are serious fears for 50 to 60 local jobs

QAS races to Mary Valley accident

No Caption

A male patient is being for suspected head injuries.

Why everyone should do a Roadcraft course

DRIVEN BY SAFETY: Glen Jocumsen with one of the Roadcraft fleet.

'They don't realise their car is that good but they're that bad'

Local Partners

Truth behind Whitney Houston’s ‘fairytale’ life

IT MIGHT be the greatest myth in modern pop music: Whitney Houston was America’s sweetheart until Bobby Brown corrupted her.

Survivor twist bound to shock

Sunshine Coast mum-of-three Tara Pitt.

TARA Pitt benefited from a shock twist on Australian Survivor.

The Block goes back to school with gorgeous kids rooms

Ronnie and Georgia's winning kids bedroom in a scene from The Block.

ONE magical bedroom received the first perfect score of the season.

A prince is sailing around the Whitsundays

Prince of Denmark Frederik is racing on Wild Oats in the Whitsundays.

Rumours circulating about where the princess is

What's on the small screen this week

Rob Collins and Jessica Marais in a scene from season two of The Wrong Girl.

JESSICA Marais returns in The Wrong Girl.

Playing Tom Cruise's wife was a dream for Sarah Wright

Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright in American Made.

The actress stars opposite Cruise in the action comedy

GALLERY: Fun and fashion at the races

Monica Belz.

Fashion and fun meet at the Gympie Showgrounds

New Gympie real estate mag has everything you need

Look out for SOLD ON in The Gympie Times on Wednesday.

The first Gympie edition of Sold On will be out on Wednesday

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.