Mould disease discovered in Valley health centre
A HEALTH workers' union will inspect Clarence Valley community health buildings this week after receiving a complaint that mould in the buildings has caused multiple cases of the disease aspergillosis.
Representatives of the Health Services Union will inspect the buildings this week after a member complained that exposure to mould in the buildings had caused some staff to contract the disease aspergillosis.
The union said it also wanted access to a report into air quality in the buildings, which had been commissioned after staff complained to management about the amount of mould in their workplace.
A spokesperson from the union said the HSU has written to the general manager of the Grafton Base Hospital, Dan Madden, to arrange an inspection of the buildings in Queen St, Grafton, later this week.
"A member has contacted the union about these issues, which we understand have affected a number of staff in administration and nursing sections," he said.
"We believe some staff have had independent health tests done, which have revealed the presence of aspergillosis."
The NSW Nurses Union has also been informed about the issues. A response from the union will be published when it becomes available.
The Daily Examiner has contacted the Northern NSW Local Health District for a response to the union's claims.
That response and the claims from a whistleblower on the staff who says staff have been complaining about mould in the buildings for more than a decade, will be the basis of a premium article.
What is aspergillosis?
Aspergillus fumigatus is an animal and human pathogen causing a group of diseases commonly referred to as Aspergilloses.
Aspergillosis of the lungs is believed to be the most serious of these diseases and is quite common in birds and various mammals including humans.
Other species of Aspergillus associated with Aspergillosis are A. flavus, A. niger and A. terreus.
Aspergillus niger has been reported as causing ear, nose and lung infection particularly in immuno-compromised individuals.