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December 13, 2019
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Over 100 passengers sick, two hospitalized owing to gastro outbreak on Perth-bound train

SYDNEY, Australia: A gastro outbreak on the Indian Pacific train from Sydney to Perth has left more than 100 passengers sick, and at least two hospitalized.

Dr. Louise Flood, Director of South Australia Health Communicable Disease Control branch, said the department has been working with the Great Southern Rail “to try and control this outbreak”.

“We’re aware of just over 100 cases,” she said.

She said most cases were “short-lived gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhoea” as the main symptoms but two people were sent to the emergency for further treatment.

“There haven’t been any cases for about two days,” she assured.

“We’ve been providing advice around infection control, so things like cleaning, availability of hand hygiene, making sure they have appropriate protocols in place and making sure the passengers and staff know about the outbreak.”

She asked “people that get unwell” to stay indoors to control the gastro epidemic.

“We think it’s most likely an outbreak of norovirus, which is one of those agents that is hard to control once it’s in the environment,” she opined.

“Outbreaks of norovirus are not uncommon and there is a lot of norovirus circulating at the moment.”

Great Southern Rail has been cleaning carriages at the train stations and some carriages have been removed, but their operation has not been affected.