One dead, several sick after contracting flood-related disease in North Qld

The flood crisis in North Queensland has claimed another victim with a person dying after contracting a flood-related illness.

Another 10 people have fallen ill with health officials warning that number will rise.

Queensland Health says the cause of death is melioidosis, which stems from floodwaters that are heavily contaminated with dirt and bacteria.


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The bacteria is transferred to humans through direct contact.

It can lead to lung infections, septicaemic pneumonia and can also spread from the skin through the blood and affect the heart, liver, kidney, joints and eyes.

Queensland Health has not confirmed the age or gender of the victim.

Dr Julie Mudd from Queensland Health says more people are likely to be infected.

“Given the scale of the flooding we are expecting to see increasing numbers of a range of infections, not just melioidosis, and we are proactively testing for these illnesses,” Dr Mudd said.

Health officials are warning that the elderly or people with pre-existing chronic conditions are especially susceptible.

Residents are being urged to ensure they cover any cuts and scratches while they continue the clean-up.

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