REPORT: Western Downs towns at greater risk of COVID-19
PARTS of the Western Downs are at very high risk of danger if they contract cases of COVID-19.
A new index developed by Finity Consulting lists the postcodes most at risk of morbidity if people contract the coronavirus.
PhD student Alan Xian from the University of New South Wales developed the index with his colleague Calise Liu.
Mr Xian said postcodes with the highest susceptibility scored poorly in risk factors like age, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
The postcodes for Tara (4421) and Kogan (4406) scored among the worst in the country, being in the 89th and 83rd percentiles respectively.
“About 38 per cent of individuals in postcode 4406 are above age 60,” Mr Xian said.
“But for the adult Australian population, about 23 per cent of individuals are above age 60.
“Because older ages are more susceptible to severe reactions upon contraction of COVID-19, postcode 4406 is, on average, more at risk compared to the general Australian population.”
“Postcode 4406 also has a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease.”
The cluster of postcodes around Brisbane are some of the least susceptible to complications from the coronavirus in Queensland.
Mr Xian said that postcode 4000, which covers the Brisbane CBD, ranks low because it has a lower incidence of risk factors among its population.
A Darling Downs Health spokeswoman said that all hospitals and health services in the state have plans to respond to the coronavirus
“Older people and those with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable to developing serious illness if infected with Covid-19,” they said.
“It is important to note that the majority of Queensland Covid-19 cases had recently travelled overseas or had close contact with a confirmed case.
“We want to reassure you that we have one of the best health systems in the world.”
The postcodes with higher percentiles generally have a greater susceptibility to COVID-19 complications.
The results for the Western Downs region are:
- Tara 4421, 89th percentile
- Kogan 4406, 83rd percentile
- Jandowae 4410, 80th percentile
- Bell 4408, 77th percentile
- Drillham 4424, 73rd percentile
- Miles 4415, 72nd percentile
- Meandarra 4422, 72nd percentile
- Chinchilla 4413, 67th percentile
- Warra 4411, 65th percentile
- Wandoan 4419, 63rd percentile
- Dalby 4405, 56th percentile
- Brigalow 4412, 51st percentile
- Condamine 4416, 45th percentile
- Dulacca 4425, 40th percentile
The full map can be found here.