North Coast health unit denies diphtheria claim
THE North Coast Public Health Unit has denied claims by Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord that there had been two cases of diphtheria on the Northern Rivers in less than a year.
Acting director Gregg Bell said apart from the diagnosis of a man last week, there had been no other cases of diphtheria in the area since before 2001, which is the period for which electronic records are available.
The North Coast Public Health Unit confirmed last week that the potentially fatal disease had appeared in an adult resident on the North Coast.
"Claims that this is the second case in Northern NSW this year are incorrect,” Mr Bell said.
"The patient who was diagnosed with diphtheria late last week is being treated with antibiotics in the community and all relevant contacts have been followed up.”
Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord said last week that it was the second diagnosis of diphtheria in less than a year on the Northern Rivers and that it was time to "declare war” on the anti-vaccination movement.