Q Fever update

Monday, 24 July 2017

The following response was issued to media following a series of follow-up questions regarding Q Fever.


The responses to the questions were attributed to the City’s acting Director City Services Peter Godfrey:


The union says no staff were vaccinated against Q Fever. If this is true, why not, and will you consider providing vaccinations to staff in the future?

The City is working through a program of testing and, if required, vaccination for staff identified as most likely to be exposed to Q Fever.
Three permanent staff working at the Geelong Saleyards have also all been vaccinated, or are immune to Q Fever.
All staff have been encouraged to contact their Occupational Health and Safety Adviser if they consider themselves at risk of exposure to Q Fever.
If appropriate, these staff will be included in the testing and vaccination program.

What advice do you have for residents who live near the saleyards, people who work nearby, or others who visit the area?

The City has been advised by the Department of Health that there have been no confirmed cases of recent Q Fever in Geelong.
The City cannot provide medical advice, and would encourage any community members concerned about Q Fever to inform themselves via www.health.vic.gov.au, or by contacting a medical practitioner.

Although your previous response says testing at the site would not guarantee the bacteria would be detected, is CoGG planning to conduct any tests for the bacteria at the saleyards site?

Expert opinion supports the City’s view that testing for Q Fever at the Geelong Saleyards would not be conclusive.
The City has adopted a precautionary approach by implementing a testing and vaccination program for staff, and by following Worksafe guidelines.

Would the potential development of a new saleyards site in the future provide any benefit in protecting against the spread of this or other disease?

Regardless of the facility, adherence to Worksafe guidelines is recognised as being the appropriate approach to managing exposure to Q Fever.

Can you confirm CoGG will be represented at a meeting tomorrow about the Q fever issue alongside representatives of the ASU and WorkSafe?
The meeting being referred to has been arranged for a week to discuss Q Fever with the local ASU representatives. The ASU has invited Worksafe to attend this meeting. The City is always prepared to work proactively with Worksafe.