Seventeen suburbs have been put on high alert after traces of COVID-19 was found in a sewage catchment.
Cairns, Far North Queensland, currently has no cases of COVID-19 and has only recorded 35 since the pandemic began.
In all of the Queensland, there are 14 active cases left – all long-term patients in hospital.
But traces of the virus in sewage suggests there may be unknown cases still in the area.
People in the area have been urged to get tested if they experience symptoms after the sample from November 17 came back positive.
Cairns, Far North Queensland, currently has no cases of COVID-19 but traces of the virus suggests there may be unknown cases (pictured, man taking sewage sample)
The wastewater plant serves the suburbs of Aeroglen, Barron, Brinsmead, Cairns City, Cairns North, Edge Hill, Freshwater, Holloways Beach, Kamerunga, Machans Beach, Manoora, Manunda, Parramatta Park, Portsmith, Redlynch, Stratford and Whitfield.
‘People shouldn’t be alarmed but they shouldn’t be complacent either, if you are sick with symptoms which could be due to COVID 19 go and get tested and then stay home until you get your results,’ a Queensland Health spokesman said.
He stressed it doesn’t mean there is a current active case in the area.
‘There are no known outbreaks in Cairns and have not been for some time,’ he said.
‘However, this positive sample means that we cannot rule out the possibility that there was or is an infected person in the area who has not been tested.
The positive sewage test could also show that someone who has previously had COVID-19 has visited the area and is still shedding the dead virus.
It could also be from someone who was positive in quarantine hotel and is now recovered.
People in the area have been urged to get tested if they experience symptoms after the sample from November 17 came back positive (pictured, people living a COVID-safe life in Queensland)
‘This detection should serve as an alert and warning to the community to be vigilant for COVID-19 symptoms,’ he added.
The spokesman said getting a test does not mean people need to isolate for 14 days – it is just until they get their results.
‘People who tested negative for COVID-19 in March or April may still be at risk of contracting the disease and if they get sick again, they should get tested again,’ he said.
There are COVID-19 testing available across Cairns.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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