Forget the coronavirus (or COVID-19, as the World Health Organisation officially has named the deadly disease). Parliament House’s childcare centre is battling an outbreak of the highly contagious hand, foot and mouth disease. Not that anyone knows. The Department of Parliamentary Services, which runs the building, hasn’t officially informed the families of kids at the centre or notified all the building’s occupants. The childcare centre is next to the dining room used by those working in Parliament House. Known colloquially as the Trough, the dining room shares an outdoor courtyard with the cooped-up kids.
Source: Alice Workman, “Struth”, News Corp
Outbreak at Parliament House
Few of the parents (including politicians) Strewth spoke to knew the common children’s virus — which causes a fever, sore throat, rash and blisters in the mouth, palms of hands and soles of the feet for a few weeks — was spotted last week when sitting resumed for 2020. According to NSW Health, it can be passed easily from person to person and usually causes a mild illness in children under 10, but it also can leave adults debilitated and bedridden. After three days of phone calls and emails, DPS refused to give us any information — such as how many kids are affected or what quarantine process had been put in place to prevent the spread of the disease — citing privacy reasons. One Labor MP pointed out: “Parliament House is a perfect breeding ground for a supervirus to spread. People bring all their germs from every part of the country into this giant, airconditioned building. It’s worse than a plane. It’s a cesspit for bacteria and infection.” Wash your hands, folks