Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Jeanette Young, stated this week that she was more concerned about the threat of “raw egg mayonnaise” than terrorism at the upcoming G20 in Brisbane, with major hospitals primed to take action in the case of a mass food poisoning event.
“I’m actually a little bit more worried about food poisoning than I am about other incidents, particularly we’ve seen quite a few outbreaks in Queensland over the last few years, mainly due to raw eggs,” Dr Young said.
“We have a lot of problems with raw egg mayonnaise and we’ve seen quite a few incidents where hundreds of people have been impacted, so we certainly don’t want that to happen. I think that is a fairly realistic scenario, but very unlikely given the amount of work that’s been done. My personal view is we should all shy away from raw egg mayonnaise at all times,” she said.
City Hospitals Ready for Action
Brisbane and surrounding areas are well primed to handle any such outbreaks. Three hospitals in the region – the Gold Coast Hospital, the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and the Princess Alexandra hospital – have all taken part in exercises to simulate what to do in the case of a mass outbreak of vomiting and diarrhoea.
Ambulances will also be stationed in the G20 restricted zones 24/7 and there will be a healthcare clinic based in the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre whilst the leaders are in the building.
Influx of Visitors
Over 7000 dignitaries, foreign delegates and journalists are starting to arrive in Brisbane already in preparation for events leading up to the main G20 summit on Friday and Saturday this week.
Many of the more high-profile guests will be bringing their own healthcare teams with them with the doctors being accredited by Queensland Health to practise medicine here. In the case of a serious illness or injury, the dignitary will be treated in a Brisbane Hospital.
What to Do If You Have Food Poisoning
First of all, bad luck…we hope you didn’t eat an egg mayonnaise sandwich at the G20!
In most cases, the symptoms will stop in a couple of days without medical help. However, if symptoms are severe or if you are in a high risk group (high risk groups include the elderly, children and pregnant women) then seek help immediately.
Take a look at our Ultimate Survival Guide to Food Poisoning to learn more about what to do in such situations.