Four people are being treated for swine flu on north Queensland’s Palm Island.
Several people have contracted swine flu on Palm Island in north Queensland, health officials say.
Townsville Hospital and Health Service confirmed on Monday that four residents from the mainly indigenous community off Townsville have the virus.
One patient has been admitted to Townsville Hospital and the others have been treated on the island.
Dr Robert Norton, director of microbiology and pathology at Townsville Hospital, says although there have been several cases it doesn’t constitute an outbreak.
“It is not uncommon for this virus to circulate throughout Queensland,” he said.
During a 2009 outbreak on the island a 19-year-old woman lost her 36-week-old unborn child due to swine-flu related complications.
Palm Island Mayor Alf Lacey says the number of recent cases are concerning and may be due to the poor level of healthcare available on the island.
“I think the delivery of health care on the island isn’t as good as it should be,” he told AAP.
“If this [level of healthcare] was in a normal mainstream community then every man and his dog would want something done.”
He says the community wants more say over how healthcare is administered on the island, and he’s in discussions with Queensland Health about changing their approach.
Health officials recommend an annual vaccination to stop the spread of swine flu or Influenza A (H1N1).