Lorenzo Lombardo, 21 – Meningococcal Disease, Pacific Sky Passenger, January 24, 2002, Time of Death is unknown.
Lorenzo Lombardo, 21, was a mechanic from Sydney. He contracted meningococcal disease on a Pacific cruise ship, then died shortly after returning home from the cruise.
Lombardo began feeling sick three days after leaving the ship and died in hospital on January 24, 2002, six days after he left the cruise.
His death came two days after South Australian medical authorities had diagnosed an Adelaide man and fellow Pacific Sky passenger Andrew Fechner with the same illness.
Mr Lombardo’s family argues South Australian authorities should have notified health authorities interstate that other cruise passengers might have been at risk.
The inquest into his death heard that another passenger from the ship was diagnosed with meningococcal in Adelaide before Mr Lombardo died.
South Australian authorities did not notify any other states because they thought it was an isolated case.
Robert Hall, the former South Australian public health investigator who dealt with the Fechner case, told the inquiry yesterday he had decided not to tell the Communicable Disease Network Australia about the infection.
He said he believed at the time that the Fechner case was an isolated infection and health guidelines required him to notify interstate health authorities only in the case of a “cluster” or larger outbreak.
Dr Hall said his investigations had led him to believe that Fechner had only “fleeting contact” with other cruise passengers and it was therefore unlikely he had passed on the disease. In hindsight, it was likely both men had contracted the disease on board the ship and that their cases were directly related, he said.