Measles alert for Brisbane
Metro North Public Health Unit has issued a measles alert after a male passenger travelled on an international flight to Brisbane while unknowingly infectious.
Passengers who arrived in Brisbane on China Southern Airlines flight CZ 381 from Guangzhou on the morning of Saturday, 5 January are urged to be alert for signs of the highly infectious disease.
Metro North Public Health physician Dr Megan Young said that anyone who was on the flight, or at Brisbane International Airport between 8:30am and 10am on Saturday should seek medical advice if they develop symptoms.
Early symptoms include fever, runny nose, lethargy and sore, red eyes. This is followed a few days later by a blotchy red rash, which often starts on the face before becoming widespread.
“Symptoms typically start between 10 and 18 days after infection so anyone who develops symptoms within the next couple of weeks should contact their family doctor for advice,” Dr Young said.
“It’s very important to call the medical practice first to say you could have measles, so that staff can take precautions to avoid spreading the disease to others.”
The man also visited The Prince Charles Hospital Emergency Department from noon to approximately 10.30pm on Saturday 5 January.
Queensland Health recommends anyone born during or since 1966, who has not had two documented doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine or had proven measles, should visit their local family doctor to get vaccinated for measles. The vaccine is free for anyone who requires it.
Measles is spread from person-to-person by tiny droplets created during coughing and sneezing. The droplets can remain suspended in the air.
Measles can be distressing for those with the infection and can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
Further information on measles is available on the Queensland Health website at: http://www.health.qld.gov.au/ or by calling 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).