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Infectious diseases doctor says current ‘level of fear’ about Victorian outbreak is not warranted

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Infectious diseases doctor says current ‘level of fear’ about Victorian outbreak is not warranted

An infectious diseases doctor says the current level of fear about the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria is not warranted.

Infectious diseases physician and professor at ANU Medical School, Peter Collignon, who is also a member of the Infection Control Expert Group which advises the Federal Government on the pandemic, says “all the evidence looks like this will be able to be brought under control”.

Frightening language being used by state government officials to describe the outbreak, with Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton recently describing the outbreak as “an absolute beast”, and concern over transmission via “fleeting contact”.

But Professor Collignon says he hasn’t “seen any evidence that this is really behaving differently to other strains that we’ve had before”.

“The language being used with, I think a relative lack of evidence, is inducing a level of fear that is not warranted,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“I think we’ve got to be careful with the preliminary data we’re acting on, not to overinterpret it, because so far there’s not uncontrolled spread in Melbourne.

“It’s all with cases we know, case finding has been good, it has been a predicable number you would expect.”

“At the moment there appears to be quite good control … and my expectation still is this will come under control and it will all disappear within a week or two from now.”

‘Language of the apocalypse’: Neil Mitchell urges state government to explain ‘frightening’ messaging

Neil Mitchell
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