Emergency wards are clogged up with over 80 people suffering from food poisoning, and things look like they’re about to get worse.
Another food poisoning incident has occurred, reports ABC News.
ACT Health has also confirmed a second and unrelated food poisoning outbreak at an unnamed venue in Canberra’s south, with up to 150 people potentially exposed at the weekend.
It is not confirming how many people fell ill, but says none were admitted to hospital and the outbreak was of a shorter duration.
Both venues remain closed.
ACT chief health officer Dr Paul Kelly says hospitals have activated emergency response plans and the Health Emergency Operations Centre at Holder is coordinating the response.
“It’s put a lot of stress on the emergency department. The emergency departments of both hospitals have been extremely busy over the last month so to have something like this really tests that system. We have a winter plan which we envisioned using for influenza. So it’s good to see them actually working,” he said.
He says they expect there will be more cases.
“We have the booking list from the restaurant and contact numbers. There’s still a number of groups we haven’t contacted. There was quite a large number of people at this restaurant over the weekend,” he said.
Dr Kelly says ACT Health investigators are working closely with the restaurant’s staff to identify the cause.
“The issue with this particular restaurant being buffet style, is that pretty much everyone ate everything,” he said.
UPDATE: ACT Health’s statement is now available. One suspects that if not for the major outbreak this one would have passed unremarked.