Poop-in-water made me sick says CSIRO employee; nope says Tribunal

A CSIRO spin doctor who says she contracted a virus after drinking water contaminated with feces at a conference has lost her bid for compensation.

water.jug.feb.15The Administrative Appeals Tribunal found federal workplace insurer Comcare had no liability for her ill-health as it could not be certain the type of virus, where it had been contracted, or if it could cause chronic fatigue syndrome.

Sasha Hardcastle reported flu-like symptoms on the third day of the 2012 conference and was rushed to hospital a week later with chest pain.

Mrs Hardcastle saw a number of doctors when her health did not improve over the following months, and was diagnosed with post viral fatigue and CFS.

She claimed that she had contracted Coxsackie B virus at the conference after she drank water contaminated with feces due to the jug being filled from the hand basin in the ladies’ toilets.

The communications manager took her case to the tribunal after Comcare rejected her compensation claim.

There is no dispute Ms Hardcastle suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome.

simpsons.aust.toiletsBut Comcare did not accept that the illness had been caused by her employment or that she contracted Coxsackie B virus at the conference.

Medical experts agreed that the chances of catching Coxsackie B virus from a jug filled from the tap in a hand basin located in a toilet facility were so low that they would both be comfortable drinking the water.