Authorities investigate Inskip gastro outbreak
MULTIPLE cases of gastroenteritis have sparked an investigation into the outbreak, as dozens of campers at Inskip Point may have been struck down by the bug.
The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, which covers the Gympie region, announced yesterday it was investigating an outbreak of gastro after several campers in the MV Sarawak site became ill with the virus or other stomach bugs.
Some campers have attributed their illness to the poor condition of the site’s facilities, and the large number of flies that have infested the area as the weather warms up.
A spokesperson for the Department of Environment and Science said they had received multiple reports of “abdominal illness” at Inskip Point’s Sarawak West camp site.
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“Upon receiving expert advice from Queensland Health, DES advises all campers to maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene, such as washing hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after toilet visits and before preparing food or eating,” they said.
A number of recent campers to the area raised concerns about the vinegar flies that had swarmed the compost toilets and campsites.
Health experts told DES it was “highly unlikely” the flies were contributing to the spread of the virus, but DES was treating the area to bring the flies under control.
DES did not comment on the condition of the site’s toilet facilities, which campers claimed were “disgusting” and attracting flies.
The spokesperson said DES was not considering closing any campsites but staff were continuing to monitor the situation.
The problem had been ongoing for several years, and in November 2015 a similar situation forced several campers to abandon their holiday as a bad odour and outbreak of illness spread through the site.
Back then, a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service spokesperson told The Gympie Times they were aware of the vinegar flies which were more prevalent at that time of year.
The spokesperson said QPWS rangers would continue a regular program of checking and maintaining the health of the toilet systems to avoid further issues.