Dr Steven Donohue.
Dr Steven Donohue.

Cape on alert for infectious skin condition

A COMMUNITY screening program for a strep bacteria-related infectious skin condition in the Weipa-Mapoon-Napranum area has been extended to allow more children to be screened.

The program is checking all children within the area for skin infections that can lead to kidney disease.

Public health physician Steven Donohue said the screening program had received good support since starting on August 7.

He said more than 600 of the screened children who had identified conditions, such as skin sores, scabies or sore throats, had received a dose of antibiotics.

"To date, we have screened more than 1350 young people aged from 12 months up to 17 years old, out of a total estimated resident population of about 2000 in that age group,'' he said.

"That's about 67.5 per cent of the target age group, but our aim is to get as close to 90 per cent as possible.

"The strep bacteria that has prompted this screening program is highly infectious and can spread from person to person through skin sores, scabies or sore throats.

"That's why our aim is to screen as many of the target age group as possible to identify those with infectious conditions and then treat them to stop the spread of the infection.''