Infected Ipswich nurse’s bizarre COVID symptom
A male nurse working in Ipswich Hospital's COVID-19 ward has tested positive to coronavirus himself after developing abdominal pains - not a symptom commonly associated with the disease.
The 37-year-old nurse from Deebing Heights, an Ipswich suburb, is believed to be among a small group of Queensland health care workers who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on the job.
A Princess Alexandra Hospital nurse, who was diagnosed in April, tested positive to the virus after working in an infectious disease ward. Four Cairns Hospital laboratory workers were also infected after an engineer contractor, who had travelled from Brisbane to work in the lab, was later found to have COVID-19.
However, Queensland Health said how the Ipswich Hospital nurse contracted the virus was still under investigation.
"The COVID ward where the staff member worked is being deep cleaned and there is increased environmental cleaning throughout the hospital," the department said.
"Extensive contact tracing is being done and anyone deemed a close contact of the nurse will be placed in quarantine and tested."
Health Minister and Deputy Premier Steven Miles praised the nurse's wisdom in getting a coronavirus test even though abdominal pains are not considered frequent symptoms of the virus.
"It underlines how we can all do the right thing by monitoring our health and if we have any symptoms at all that are of any cause for concern we can go and get tested," Mr Miles said.
The nurse, who is in a stable condition, was one of two new Queensland cases confirmed yesterday, taking the state's tally of known infections to 1124.
The second case was an 18-year-old male from Staines Memorial College at Redbank Plains, who was already in quarantine after another student at the school tested positive at the weekend.
The school remains closed for deep cleaning, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday saying Queensland Health was in the process of testing all students.
"There are about 600 students that attend this college and we are working through with the parents and staff to make sure everyone out there is being tested," she said.
Staines Memorial College Acting Deputy Principal Melissa Coluccio said in a letter to the school community this week that over the next fortnight, the college would provide work for students to complete in a "Learning at Home" model similar to what students experienced in Term 2.
"Work plans will be emailed to parents and secondary students," she said.
"Families are welcome to work at a pace and structure that works for the individual family."
Queensland yesterday surpassed 900,000 tests for SARS-CoV-2. In the 24 hours to yesterday, 7489 samples were tested.
Queensland has 28 active cases of the disease, with 18 people in hospital.
Originally published as Infected Ipswich nurse's bizarre COVID symptom