23.3 C
Byron Shire
February 24, 2024

Woman contracts diphtheria at Rabbits Eat Lettuce

Latest News

Lighthouse Road

The section from the bus stop on Lighthouse Road to the divide of the road to Byron Bay, is...

Other News

They got the Dojo Rise

Adam Blesing, Sean Dedrick and Anthony Sherwood are Dojo Rise – forging their own unique footprint in the music industry, with their uplifting south coast sound; an eclectic fusion of reggae/dub, pop and indie soul.

Naked rally in Byron as gov’t agency calls time on ‘nude’ beach

Around 150 people rallied in support of a clothing-optional section of beach in the Byron Shire on Sunday, many of them nude.

Knitting Nannas get behind Save Wallum campaign

With porcelain tea cups, lace-covered tables and plenty of knitting the Knitting Nannas Against Greed (KNAG) headed to the...

Community tree planting in Mullum Feb 24

Want to help locally to care for our environment and plant trees for our wildlife?

Wallum: councillors failed to listen to the community

Thank you, Councillors Lyon, Pugh and Coorey for explaining what went wrong with the Wallum development application (DA) process on Facebook. The community f*cked up because they failed to object?

Appointments for free breastscreen van in Mur’bah next month

Around ninety per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.

The organisers of the Rabbits Eat Lettuce, which took place near Casino over Easter, have announced a festival-goer has contracted diphtheria. Photo Facebook
The organisers of the Rabbits Eat Lettuce, which took place near Casino over Easter, have announced a festival-goer has contracted diphtheria. Photo Facebook

A rare case of the deadly bacterial disease diphtheria has been reported in the northern rivers and it appears that the woman contracted it while attending a doof near Casino over Easter.

As many as 10 per cent of diphtheria sufferers die from the disease, which is extremely rare in western countries.

The woman who contracted it attended the Rabbits Eat Lettuce doof and festival organisers have informed attendees on the event’s Facebook page.

Stop the Australian (Anti) Vaccination Network (SAVN) spokesperson, surgeon John Cunningham, said that diphtheria was ‘easily preventable in this day and age with a simple vaccination.’

‘This is a disease that we have’t seen in Australia for some years. In 2011 a 22-year-old unvaccinated Queensland woman died from the disease,’ Mr Cunningham said.

‘Before that there were a handful of cases in the Northern Territory in the early nineties. It would be a tragedy if this new case had a fatal outcome,’ he added.

Diphtheria is spread through coughing and sneezing, with the infected person being contagious for up to two weeks after infection.

The incubation period for diphtheria is up to 10 days, but most commonly between two and five days. People who attended Rabbits Eat Lettuce and have subsequently fallen ill within that time period are advised to seek medical attention.

Symptoms include respiratory problems, a runny nose, sore throat, hoarse voice, swollen neck glands, and fever and chills.

Complications may include inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), inflammation of the nerves, kidney problems, and bleeding problems due to low blood platelets. Myocarditis may result in an abnormal heart rate and inflammation of the nerves may result in paralysis.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. It appears to me that the person writing this article just used this unfortunate opportunity to have a pro vaccination rant via this guy from the SAVN – when that has nothing to do with the incident whatsoever. I would expect more fair unbiased reporting from the Echo than this. Just because people get sick does NOT mean they should get vaccinated, in every instance.

    • If you were truly a “concerned local” you wouldn’t be advocating non vaccination. Anti vaccinationism ranks alongside crystal worship as a serious vocation.

      • Agreed – at least you won’t die from worshipping crystals!

        These anti-vaccination “extremists” are gambling with their lives (and their children’s), and their beliefs have no factual basis whatsoever. It breaks my heart to see people I know refusing to vaccinate their children. They have no scientific understanding of the immune system, or of vaccines and how they work (and yes, I do – I previously worked as an immunologist).

        The re-emergence in Australia of potentially fatal diseases like diptheria and whooping cough is very concerning – thankfully I’m vaccinated!

      • Honestly there should be a vaccine for stupidity!!! Big Pharma just wants everyone to take their poisons so they can get richer, they don`t care about your health or even if you die they just want your $$$$$$$

    • I think it is very important for you to consider all aspects of the article before leaping to the anti-vax preaching.

      This is a public health issue that needs to be addressed. The local and wider community must be made aware of any outbreaks of serious diseases in order to maintain the health of all individuals. Including those that make the decision to effect the herd immunity by not partaking in the vaccination programs available.

      I fail to see the bias in this article. The quote is from a health professional, whose occupation is to understand the complexity of these health issues, hence why his response to this incident is justified.

      Perhaps you would do well to read more widely on the last incidences of Diphtheria in Australia and the clear connection with the individuals who’ve fallen ill due to lack of immunity. Lack of immunity is due to not having been vaccinated. It’s pretty simple.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

4,000 failed

I attended the flood forum held at the Ballina RSL last Monday and was aghast to hear some of the facts presented. 4,000 people...

Knitting Nannas get behind Save Wallum campaign

With porcelain tea cups, lace-covered tables and plenty of knitting the Knitting Nannas Against Greed (KNAG) headed to the basecamp of the Save Wallum...

NPWS wants to remove beach nudity option

For 26 years, Tyagarah Beach has been an oasis for the region’s naturist community – a space where bodies of all shapes and sizes could roam free without threat of fines or reprimands.

‘Key workers’ removed from Ballina Council’s housing project as Mayor seeks full market rents

Essential workers were the losers at the recent Ballina Council meeting when councillors actively removed the category for ‘key workers’ from their development of rental housing on land it owns in Wollongbar.