“World first” Health experts baffled by Qld’s latest COVID case

Queensland’s latest COVID-19 case has left health experts scratching their heads, with mystery surrounding how the virus spread from one guest to another in hotel quarantine.

Both guests, who are airline crew, have tested positive to the same Alpha variant despite flying into the country on different flights and staying on totally different floors of the hotel.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young has confirmed the transmission “is likely to have occurred in hotel quarantine”, but just how it spread remains unknown.

The State’s top doctor believes it may have been through surface contact, known as fomite transmission.

“Early indications suggest there has been fomite transmission from a hotel guest who was infectious to yesterday’s case,” Dr Young said.

But Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said that would be a “world-first”, instead suggesting a hotel staff member may have unknowingly spread the virus from one floor to another.

“It appears that the transmission was from a quite high floor to a relatively low floor would be a world first,” he said.

“So I think the more logical explanation would be it’s a staffing matter.

“It is unusual… If I was a betting man, I would suggest that it has something to do with staff movement but that’s really a matter for Queensland to investigate,” he said.

So far, more than 63 contacts have been identified, including 50 close contacts who have been forced into quarantine for 14 days from their exposure.

Dr Jeannette Young

Desperate search for source of new Qld coronavirus case

Queensland Health authorities are scrambling to try and track down the source of a flight attendant’s COVID-19 infection.

It comes after it was revealed the woman, aged in her 30s, does not have the highly contagious Delta variant as earlier suspected.

The woman, who arrived in Brisbane on an Emirates flight from Dubai earlier this month, tested positive to COVID-19 just hours after finishing up a 14-day stint in hotel quarantine

It’s understood she had three tests while in quarantine, which all came back negative, before a follow-up test as part of routine aircrew surveillance came back positive the following day.

The woman was earlier believed to have caught the virus off a passenger who had the Delta strain, however, mystery now surrounds where the flight attendant caught it.

RELATED: New local COVID case recorded in Queensland

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said although the Delta variant has been ruled out, it’s still extremely important people who had been at the listed exposure sites still isolate.

“Particularly anyone who was at the Airport DFO between 4pm and 4.30pm on Saturday still needs to isolate at home,” Dr Young said.

“It’s good news the case isn’t the highly transmissible Delta variant, but we do still need to take every precaution.”

Queensland Health will contact individuals with advice about getting tested, however, Dr Young said it is likely now that individuals will not need to quarantine for the full 14 days.

Authorities are continuing investigations into the exact variant, and the source of the case.

Macca’s is slinging 50c Big Macs across the whole country today!

McDonald’s is celebrating turning 50 years old in Australia by flogging 50 cent Big Macs across the whole country today.

Not going to lie, I’m more of a McChicken lover, but honestly who is going to knock back a Big Mac for 50 cents?

The iconic burgers are on sale at all Macca’s stores across the country for one day only and are available for purchase via the MyMaccas’s app.

However, you better be quick as stocks are limited to the first 500,000 orders.

“The Big Mac is an Aussie icon, customer favourite and one of our most popular menu items, universally loved for its 100% Aussie beef patties and signature Big Mac sauce,” McDonald’s Australia Marketing Manager Amanda Nakad said.

“As a way to thank our customers for their continued support over the last 50 years, we are excited to launch one of our best-value deals to date with this 50 cent Big Mac offer.”

More than 1.1 billion Big Macs have been sold in Australia since the doors opened to the first restaurant in 1971.

BREAKING: Minimum age for AstraZeneca vaccine raised to 60

There’s been a major shake-up to Australia’s vaccine rollout, with the minimum age for the AstraZeneca vaccine raised from 50 to 60.

Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed that from today, it will be recommended that the AstraZeneca jab only be given to Australians over the age of 60.

It comes after the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation conducted further investigations into the vaccine before providing the advice to the Federal Government this morning.

“We have received updated medical advice from ATAGI and one of the things we have done throughout the course of the pandemic, from the earliest days is follow that medical advice,” Minister Hunt said.

“We will continue following that medical advice and today the advice we received from ATAGI is after reviewing the latest evidence they have recommended an increase in the age range for those who should be using AstraZeneca”.

It means Pfizer is now the preferred vaccine for those aged under 60-years-old, with the Federal Government moving to open access to the Pfizer jab for 40 to 59-year-olds immediately.

It’s understood there are around 2.1 million people in that age bracket, who have not yet received the vaccine.

However, Australians who have already received AstraZeneca are being told to continue to get their second shot.

“They have strongly recommended that second doses be completed for all of those who have had AstraZeneca who are under 60 years of age,” Minister Hunt said.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said people should still have faith in the AstraZeneca jab.

“AstraZeneca remains a very effective vaccine, the benefit of AstraZeneca in the over 60s remains much higher than the risk of this particularly rare, but sometimes serious syndrome,” he said.

“So people over 60 should still be rolling up to their GP and get that first dose.”

Professor Kelly echoed Minister Hunt’s statement about people who have already received AstraZeneca continuing to get their second jab.

“Anyone who has had a first dose of AstraZeneca without problem should feel very confident to have their second dose,” Professor Kelly said.

“On the basis of the information we have had in Australia, we have not had a single case of this particular syndrome in a second dose”.

Driving

Alleged drunk driver found passed out in car with toddler on Gold Coast

A WOMAN has been charged with drink driving and possessing the drug ice after she was allegedly found passed out in the driver’s seat of a car, in the middle of a busy Gold Coast road, with a three-year-old child in the vehicle.

Police were alerted to the horror scene after receiving numerous calls for help from shocked motorists who made the discovery around 6.30pm on Wednesday.

A Queensland Police spokesperson told myGC that the vehicle was found stopped at a green traffic light on the Gold Coast Highway at Broadbeach.

“Members of the public intervened and removed the child from the car for her safety,” police said.

The woman woke soon after and allegedly sped away from the scene, before she was tracked down on Caprice Court by PolAir.

The 23-year-old, from Worongary, was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital to be checked.

She has since been charged with drink drive UIL, possess a dangerous drug (methylamphetamine) and unlawful possession of suspected stolen property (credit cards).

The woman is due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court on June 29.