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The Tropical Public Health Unit, Queensland Health has received reports of 11 cases of melioidosis in north Queensland from 1 January to 13 March, 1998. This is about twice as many cases as would be expected based on reports from previous years. Three of the cases have been fatal. Four of the 11 cases were in individuals aged less than 30 years (range 15 to 73 years). Two cases did not have any recognised risk factors for infection. Geographically, cases have been reported in the area extending from Charters Towers in the south up to the Torres Strait.
Many areas of north Queensland have experienced heavy rainfall in the first few months of 1998. Flooding has occurred in several regions. This has most likely contributed to the observed increase in the number of cases of melioidosis so far this year.
This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Vol 22 No 3, March 1998.
Communicable Diseases Surveillance
Communicable Diseases Intelligence