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COVID-19 is on track to become the leading cause of death in Australia

Professor Nigel McMillan_supplied Griffith University

Queensland infectious disease expert Nigel McMillan says

A QUEENSLAND INFECTIOUS diseases expert says COVID-19 is on track to overtake heart disease as the number one cause of death in Australia, with one in every 110 Queenslanders currently infected with the virus.

It comes as 18 deaths and 9,992 new COVID cases were confirmed in Queensland in the latest reporting period.

ABOVE: Professor Nigel McMillan says governments need to find a middle ground for COVID restrictions.
(Supplied: Griffith University)

There are 983 people with COVID-19 in Queensland hospitals, 24 of them in intensive care — the highest number of hospitalisations yet recorded.

Menzies Health Institute Queensland professor Nigel McMillan warns people are not taking the risk of the disease seriously enough.

“It will outpace cardiac coronary heart disease by the end of the year if we keep going at this rate,” he told ABC Radio Brisbane.

“We haven’t had an infectious disease be the number one cause of death in 120 years, so if that’s not enough for people to realise this is serious then I don’t know what is.

“The case fatality rate — that is, the number of people who die per 100 — has dropped from 3 percent to 0.1 [percent], our medical interventions are working and people kind of consider it less serious, [but] this virus keeps changing on us.

“This virus is really giving us conniptions as a scientific and medical community because we’re seeing it becoming much more infectious, but certainly it has not dropped in terms of its ability to cause disease.”

Professor McMillan said politicians needed to find a “middle ground” between public backlash against government control and putting more pressure on the strained health system.

ABC News, Meg Bolton

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