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Mice maul patient in Australian rest home

A PACK of mice mauled a bedridden 89-year-old man at an Australian nursing home, shredding parts of his ears and prompting the government to launch an investigation yesterday into the facility.

Federal Minister for Aging Justine Elliot ordered a probe into what the government-run nursing home in Queensland state was doing to protect residents, saying in a statement that the attack was "extremely disturbing and traumatic for residents and their families."

Ray Hopper, a state opposition legislator who was alerted to the mauling by the man's family earlier this week, said the resident was found covered in blood by nursing staff last Saturday.

"An elderly, bedridden gentleman had the tops of his ears severely chewed, his head badly bitten and a very bad wound in the throat," Hopper said. "His hands were covered in blood when they found him; he'd obviously been so distressed trying to get the mice away."

Hopper accused health officials of being slow to respond to an out-of-control mouse infestation at Dalby Hospital, where Karingal Nursing Home is located.

"It is the most disgusting, horrific thing," Hopper said. "There wasn't a wall of mice suddenly hitting the place - this has been building up for three weeks. They had plenty of time to act."

Pam Lane, a Queensland state health officer, confirmed that two residents had been treated for mouse bites at the home and called the attacks "unfortunate."

"We are doing everything we can to rid the mice from the facility," she said.


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