Australian authorities were scrambling on Thursday to find the source of a COVID-19 infection which killed a 30-year-old man in the remote mining town of Blackwater in Queensland state.
The man on Tuesday became the youngest person to die in Australia from COVID-19, with authorities dispatching a rapid response team to locate the source of his infection, reports Xinhua news agency.
However, despite conducting testing on roughly 20 people who had been in contact with the man, as of Thursday morning health officials were unable to positively identify any other cases.
The man’s partner, who displayed symptoms of the virus and was placed in isolation, also tested negative.
Health officials established a testing clinic in the town, which is roughly 198 km from the capital of Brisbane and has a population of under 5,000, urging all of the town’s residents to get tested.
“Central Queensland’s rapid response team has been mobilized and we’re isolating and testing close contacts of the deceased. Contact tracing is ongoing,” the state’s Health Minister Steven Miles said.
While health officials believed the man had not left Blackwater since February, according to media reports an infected nurse had travelled to the region in mid-May from the nearby city of Rockhampton.
However, without ruling out the connection all together, Miles said the timeline of the nurse’s visit didn’t match up, since the man reportedly began displaying symptoms earlier in the month.
“Those dates don’t really line up with when he got sick. It is a bit of a mystery and it could just be a coincidence,” Miles said.
“It’s possible that there is some kind of connection there, or it could just be a coincidence. That’s what our investigators are working on.”