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2 die in flu outbreak in Australia's Queensland

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-28 12:35

BRISBANE, Australia - Two palliative care patients in a nursing home have died due to flu outbreak in Australia's North Queensland, local media reported on Thursday.

Altogether 14 residents at the Mackay nursing home have tested positive for Influenza A and seven others have been hospitalized over the past couple of weeks, said state health authority Queensland Health public physician Dr Steven Donohue, adding that the two who died also had other serious medical conditions.

"A number of people (at the home) had been exposed to the virus before the outbreak was declared," he said, quoted by the Australian Associated Press.

"It's unfortunate the outbreak began before this year's flu vaccine was available."

Donohue said the nursing home immunized staff and residents as soon as the vaccine was available.

"Aged care facilities have a vulnerable population that lives close together, and influenza will sometimes spread despite infection control guidelines being implemented," he said.

It was reported that 60 of the 128 residents and 15 of 117 staff at the nursing home have been infected by the virus.

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