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  Issue No 86 Official Organ of LaborNet 02 March 2001  

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News

Meat Workers Dropped from the Queue for Q Fever Vaccine

By Mary Yaager

The Meat Workers Union is outraged after discovering hundreds of their members are at risk of contracting a highly infectious disease.

Charlie Donzow, Secretary of the Meat Employees Union said "the vaccine for Q Fever has been dropped from the list of scheduled vaccines and I believe that this will have a devastating effect on the current immunisation programme which is in place for abattoir workers."

According to Professor Boughton, an expert in infectious diseases, each year there are 500 to 1,000 cases of Q fever reported nationally. While a majority of patients recover, others may experience serious complications and can go on to develop sub-acute endocarditis, which has resulted in the recent death of a 55 year old meat worker. Other complications are chronic fatigue syndrome, orchitis, and hepatitis. Pregnant women are at particular risk because of the possibility of the disease being passed on to the newborn child.

Q Fever is a highly infectious zoonotic disease, which is passed from animals to humans. It is caused by a bacterium found in small bush animals. Cattle, sheep and goats are also infected from time to time

Professor Boughton said workers in abattoirs, or even those visiting, are in a particularly high-risk category of contracting Q fever because the bacteria is released into the air when an animal is slaughtered. It is very resilient and easily inhaled. This is why individuals need to be immunised prior to entering an abattoir.

Michael Costa of the Labor Council is seeking urgent talks with the Minister for Health, the Hon. Craig Knowles, to review the decision and have Q Fever reinstated to the list of scheduled vaccines.


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*   Issue 86 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Master of Opposition
Over the past five years, John Faulkner has turned the Senates Estimates structure into his own House of Pain. He explains the art of Opposition.
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*  Politics: Beazley the Bridge Builder?
As the Howard Government flounders, Brett Evans looks at the challenges Kim Beazley faces as his hour of destiny approaches.
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*  Unions: Lashing & Loathing at Patricks
Three years since one of the Howard Government’s most infamous episodes, the Waterfront War, Zoe Reynolds discovers how casuals are now doing the doing the dirty work on the docks.
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*  Legal: Workers Without Rights
Mark Morey outlines the legal status and (lack of) rights for foreigners in Australia on working visas.
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*  International: Dispatch from the Dispossessed
Mahendra Chaudhry, Leader of the People's Coalition and the Fiji Labour Party comments on this week’s court decision.
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*  Economics: Business Power and Mobility
The US election season makes it patently clear how Big Business is able to transform its financial resources into political power via campaigncontributions.
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*  History: The Spoilers and the Split
The Movement, Groupers, the DLP and The Doc. All have been blamed in various ways for the ALP split in the 1950s, ensuring the ALP was kept out of federal government until 1972. Can One Nation return the favour?
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*  Review: The New Hard Politics
Dennis Glover argues that policy has taken over from spin as the political battleground of the new century.
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*  Satire: Bradman Latest: Family In Dramatic Court Action
The family of the late Sir Donald Bradman yesterday sought a restraining order against Prime Minister John Howard after it became apparent that he wants to be involved in every single detail of the The Don's funeral.
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News
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»  Five Star Exploitation at Regent
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»  Workers Say: We Deserve Better
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»  Carr Called on Ten Year Temps
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»  National Textiles Workers Struggling 12 Months On
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»  MUA Prosecutes Patrick for Crippling Workers
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»  Test Case: Is Redundancy a Universal Right?
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»  Who Pays for the Public Works?
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»  Seven-day Strike at Five BHP Mines
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»  Chubb Cuts Place Security Guards at Risk
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»  Vic Employers Support New IR Laws
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»  Lock-Out Tactics Poison Neighbourhood
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»  Shangri-La: Lawyers Take Over from Thugs
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»  Daewoo Workers See The Ugly Face Of Globalisation
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»  Labour Wings to Meet in Macquarie Street
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»  Costa Kisses the Rings
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»  Meat Workers Dropped from the Queue for Q Fever Vaccine
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»  Activists Notebook
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  About Scabs
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»  Pauline Wrong on Nurses
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»  Banks: Time for Pay Back
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»  Pardons in Perspective
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»  What Man's Burden?
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