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Gastro outbreak prompts investigation

The Department of Health is investigating the cause of a gastroenteritis outbreak following a Department of Education and Training (DET) conference for Queensland education staff held last week.

Communicable Diseases Director Dr Sonya Bennett said DET had contacted the department late Sunday afternoon to raise concerns about the number of attendees who had fallen ill.

"Although the source of the outbreak is yet to be confirmed, DET is reporting that about 100 staff across the state have exhibited gastroenteritis-like symptoms following the two-day event.

"We are also following up on reports that three attendees have been admitted to hospital."

Dr Bennett said all conference attendees would be contacted in the coming days.

"At this early stage it is uncertain what the cause of the illness is but our investigations during the coming days will provide us with more information," Dr Bennett said.

"The cause could be bacterial or viral, food related or transmitted person to person.

"I’d urge anyone who attended the conference to be aware of symptoms such as fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

"Those people showing symptoms should contact their GP or phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)."

Further updates will be provided as more information comes to hand.  

Last updated: 2 March 2015