'Mystery illness' surfaces after floods

A MYSTERY illness has reportedly emerged among residents of the Lockyer Valley in Queensland, triggered by the flash floods that ravaged the town earlier this week.

According to Dr Richard Kidd, president-elect of AMA Queensland, health authorities were investigating reports of an illness in several people in the area.

The illness is suspected to be the tropical disease melioidosis, caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei found in soil and water.

"At the moment, I know that there is no certainty about what it is – all we know at this stage is it's a mystery illness and it sounds like it's predominantly a respiratory illness," Dr Kidd said.

"We are somewhat concerned it's one of these unusual respiratory infections that people get from the dust or dirt from out west," he said.

Depending on the infection identified, treatment protocols would need to be put in place, but in cases