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HIV risk 'low'

An HIV positve man died in a fatal car crash in Cannonvale last Thursday night. Members of the public who helped the man before he died are urged to contact Queensland Health immediately for medical advice.
An HIV positve man died in a fatal car crash in Cannonvale last Thursday night. Members of the public who helped the man before he died are urged to contact Queensland Health immediately for medical advice.

FOUR members of the public have been tested for HIV after helping at a fatal motor vehicle accident at Cannonvale last week.

A spokesperson for Queensland Health confirmed yesterday that the risk of contracting the virus had been assessed as “no risk” or “very low risk”.

Health authorities had urged people to seek medical advice after it was discovered that the man killed in the crash was carrying the deadly virus.

The warning was for people who had attended the scene before the arrival of Emergency Services personnel.

The 36 year old man was killed in the crash on Shute Harbour Road on the western outskirts of Cannonvale last Thursday evening. The car he was driving collided with a vehicle being driven by a 29 year old woman from Proserpine. The man had to be cut free by a Queensland Fire and Rescue Unit.

He was pronounced dead by a doctor at the scene at about 7.30pm – less than an hour after the accident occurred.

The man was a dual passport holder with Australian and Swiss passports and had been working for Club Med on Lindeman Island.

His parents are from Mauritius and police said this week that they were expected in Australia soon.

A Queensland Health spokesperson said yesterday that Emergency Services personnel, as part of their normal operating procedures, took all necessary precautions at every accident or incident scene to limit the risk of exposure to infection.

“Queensland Health has been in contact with Emergency Services who have advised that all staff have been assessed for individual levels of risk and appropriately managed,” the spokesperson said.

“If anyone involved at the scene of this incident is concerned and has not yet sought medical advice, they should contact Proserpine Hospital on 4813 9400.”

Earlier in the week, Queensland Health Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said Queensland Health had become aware of people at the crash scene, including civilians, who may have come in contact with the man. They had been urged to seek medical advice.

“In general, if an individual has been exposed to HIV, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can be taken after exposure to prevent infection. It must be taken within 72 hours of exposure, and this is called contact tracing,” Dr Young said.

She said Queensland Health had very strict procedures to ensure confidentiality.

The 29 year old woman in the other car was airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital after the accident on Thursday evening.

 She was released from hospital on Saturday with bruising and a broken ankle.


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