Darwin parents urged to vacuum up gecko and frog poo amid spike in Salmonella cases

Darwin is in northern Australia.

It’s close to the equator.

geckoIt’s hot.

ABC News reports Top End parents are being urged to vacuum up tiny brown and white droppings of gecko poo amid an above-average rise in salmonella cases affecting young children.

Darwin annually records above national average rates of salmonella, especially among children under five during the humid months around Christmas.

This wet season is no different, however the past month has seen an unexpected rise in cases.

“We’re getting about 50 per cent more than we’d expect at the moment,” Dr Peter Markey, head of disease surveillance at the NT Centre for Disease Control, said.

There are many different strands of salmonella, with the disease’s spread generally linked to contaminated food, warm conditions, polluted water, unclean surfaces and the spread of faecal matter.

Symptoms include fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration, with children and the elderly especially badly affected.

Dr Markey said Top End-specific research conducted by the centre in recent years had identified many well-known risk factors.

“We’ve isolated salmonella from geckos, lizards, snakes. Dogs and cats and turtles are important carriers too. Goldfish even, because aquarium water can be contaminated.”

Dr Markey said young children handling pets and then not washing their hands would often lead to them getting sick, however some might be getting sick from actually eating tiny animal faeces.

Gecko poo is generally elongated and brown, sometimes with a tip of white, and is often mistaken for mouse or rat droppings.

“Toddlers of course live on the ground and crawl around and put anything in their mouths,” Dr Markey said.

“We showed that regular vacuuming can help.

“It’s important to get that gecko poo or the frog poo off the ground or balcony.”


14 sick: Laksa food poisoning near Darwin

Eoin Blackwell of the Huffington Post reports that Northern Territorians looking for a spicy meal this week received a different kind of kick, with 14 people struck down by food poisoning traced to a laksa vendor.

this-is-a-laksa-restaurantThe NT Department of Health on Wednesday issued a warning about eating laksa purchased at two recent Mindil Beach Markets following a cluster of food poisoning in the Darwin area.

The source of the outbreak has been identified and the stall shut down for rest of the market season.

“We are warning the public not to consume any laksa which was purchased at Mindil Beach markets last Thursday or Sunday evenings,” Acting head of the Centre for Disease Control, Dr Peter Markey, said in a statement.

“Any laksa which was purchased from Mindil Beach on those nights and is still in your fridge or freezer should be disposed of immediately.”

50 sick in Australian Salmonella outbreak

An investigation into more than 50 cases of salmonella in Darwin and the surrounding area is currently underway, the Department of Health has confirmed.

darwin.crocSalmonella infection is often caused by ingesting food contaminated with the bacteria.

Dr Peter Markey, head of surveillance at the Centre for Disease Control, said it was too early to say where the outbreak started or how it spread.

He said the investigation was attempting to determine whether there had been a common food source at the root of the outbreak, and confirmed workers at the INPEX workers camp in Darwin’s rural area had been affected.

The Department of Health said while raw foods were a common cause of salmonella infections, environmental factors including geckos, frogs and family pets could also be a possible source.

Look at the raw egg dishes.

Latex glove found in Australian late-night stir fry

A Darwin, Australia couple was outraged this week to find a glove buried in a beef noodle dish they bought from a 24-hour take-away outlet.

Evelyn Nicholson and Rod Jockway told the NT News they made the discovery at Uncle Sam’s in Darwin.

"I thought it was a tough piece of meat," Mr Nicholson said.

"I pushed it to one side and said I’d tackle it later.

"It turned out to be a glove."

The couple reportedly complained to Northern Territory health authorities after confronting the manager, who denied ever serving them the beef meal.

NT News reporter Conor Byrne, who wrote the story, said the glove was an indication the restaurant had made attempts to be hygienic.

You wear a thong to this restaurant, you pay extra

Darwin is way up north in Australia, near the equator, so it’s hot most of the time.

But that’s no excuse for fat German tourists in Speedos. Anywhere.

Northern Territory News reports that of John Spellman’s Tramontana restaurant on McMinn St. is now charging patrons $10 for wearing thongs while they dine (and they probably mean flip-flops, but the idea of dining in a thong made a better story).

The "thongage" charge is announced in a sign on the door Last night Mr Spellman said the "campaign" was setting the tone for his "boutique" restaurant.

"It’s a formal restaurant – tablecloths, napkins. I wear shoes and socks," he said.

"There’s actually a button on the register. I just put it on the bill – you don’t have to argue about it. Two lamb chops, one thongage.