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15 April 2023:

Poisonous wild mushrooms have been sprouting in gardens and reserves around the region and residents have been urged not to consume them.

Wet and cooler weather have proved the ideal growing conditions for the Death Cap and Yellow staining mushroom varieties.

Eating the mushrooms can result in severe gastrointestinal illness, liver failure and in some cases death.

It is very hard to distinguish between poisonous and edible wild mushrooms with many looking similar to ‘supermarket bought” mushrooms.

Death Cap mushrooms are large, with a pale yellow-green to olive-brown cap, white gills, a skirt around the stem and a cup-shaped sac around the base.

The Yellow staining mushroom looks very similar to a mushroom bought in a store or a cultivated mushroom.

The cap and stem are white-ish to pale brown, turning yellow when rubbing the surface and they usually have an unpleasant smell.

Symptoms of poisoning by these mushrooms within hours of consumption include:

  • Stomach pain and cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

The severity of symptoms usually varies with the amount of mushroom that has been eaten.

Even if symptoms subside, there is a risk of serious organ failure within 24-48 hours of consumption that could result in death.

Residents who believe they may have consumed a wild poisonous mushroom are urged not to wait for symptoms to occur but to seek medical attention immediately.

The Victorian Poison Information Centre can be contacted on 131126 for information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

20 March 2023:

  • Invasive group A streptococcal disease (iGAS) including cases of severe illness, particularly among children, continues to be observed in Victoria.
  • iGAS is caused by infection with a bacterium known as Group A Streptococcus (GAS), which also commonly causes skin and throat infections. Clinical manifestations of iGAS include sepsis and severe invasive infection.

Symptoms of iGAS vary depending on the site of infection and are often non-specific. They may include:

  • Fevers or chills
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath and/or chest pain
  • Headache and/or stiff neck
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Red, warm, painful, and rapidly spreading skin infection which may have pus or ulceration
  • Abdominal pain, bleeding, or purulent discharge from the vagina can occur with maternal sepsis.

Signs and symptoms of iGAS in children can include fever, red sunburn-like rash (which may be subtle or florid), cold or mottled limbs, limb pain, not wanting to walk, poor feeding, abdominal pain, vomiting, lethargy, throat infection, chest infection and oliguria (poor urine output). Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to ensure children are up to date with all routine immunisations (including varicella (chickenpox) and upcoming annual influenza vaccination), to help prevent viral infections that increase the risk of iGAS.  Parents and guardians should be alert to the signs and symptoms of GAS infection and serious bacterial infection in children, and when to seek immediate medical care.

20 February 2023:

A case of measles has been identified in an overseas traveller. 
The person was infectious while at a number of Melbourne venues in the suburb of Clayton from Thursday 16 February to Friday 17 February.
If you were in the area, please monitor for symptoms, which can include rash, fever and cough - early symptoms can be similar to COVID-19.
There have now been 8 cases of measles reported in Victoria since 1 January 2022. 
Any overseas travel could lead to exposure to measles at the current time. 
Outbreaks of measles have been recently reported in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the USA.

17 February 2023

A case of Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) virus infection has been identified in a woman from Buloke Shire, who died in early February. This is the first case of MVE virus infection in Victoria since 1974.

  • The risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as Japanese encephalitis (JE), MVE and West Nile (Kunjin) virus infections are high this summer, particularly in northern Victoria where viruses are being detected in mosquitoes.
  • These viruses can cause a rare but potentially serious infection of the central nervous system and are spread to humans by infected mosquitoes.
  • Taking measures to avoid mosquito bites is critical to protect against infections.
  • Symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle aches, although most infected people do not have symptoms. In serious cases, people can develop meningitis or encephalitis which can be fatal.
  • Anyone with symptoms should seek urgent medical care.

30 December 2022:

A case of Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus infection has been identified in a Campaspe LGA resident, the first identified case of JEV infection in Victoria this mosquito season. JE virus can cause a rare but potentially serious infection of the brain and is spread to humans through mosquito bites. 

29 December 2022

Victorians are advised to protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River virus infection and Barmah Forest virus infection this summer. Mosquito numbers of species known to transmit diseases are increasing.

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