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A Killer Virus Has Hit Melbourne And Everyone Is Warned

Health officials are investigating a rare and serious infectious disease that is spreading amongst meat workers in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

People working in and around Vic Wide Meat Brokers in Laverton North are being tested for Q fever after five employees fell ill with it.

Other staff at the site and similar business nearby are being contacted to ensure they are vaccinated against the disease, which usually produces flu-like symptoms and can cause pneumonia and liver inflammation.

Only half of those infected will get symptoms but it fatal for one to two per cent of those people.

The department of health is now writing to contractors who visited the site last year to warn them about the symptoms.

"Both the Department and WorkSafe officials have visited and inspected the premises to check on the vaccination status of other staff, and arrange testing and vaccinations, as required," said Victoria's Chief Health Officer Professor Charles Guest. 

"At this stage there is no broader public health issue as our investigation shows all exposures have been confined to the site and have occurred in the workplace."

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