Wednesday, 7 March 2007
Burke flu bungle
Australian health officials have tried to quell fears over any potential burke flu outbreak after numerous politicians were suspected of being exposed to the deadly disease.
Perth politicians are being monitored amid fears they were exposed to the burke flu virus.
Human services minister Ian Campbell was placed in quarantine after it was revealed he came into contact with the deadly virus.
Officials expect it will be some months before he is allowed back to work.
It is likely he will resume normal duties sometime after the next election.
Health officials stressed there was no cause for alarm in the wider community.
"We believe the risk is very, very low for the normal population," a spokesperson said.
"This burke flu virus doesn't have a track record of infecting ordinary people."
Nor was there any chance the virus will escape political containment facilities. However, members of the business community have been warned to be on the look out for possible symptoms.
Safety procedures have been put into place and an investigation is under way to determine what went wrong. Officials are treating this as an isolated incident caused by human error.
Most politicians have now had been spoken to, to ensure safety procedures are followed. These procedures may need reviewing to ensure they are adhered to in future.