Measles case reported on Brisbane’s northside
Metro North Public Health Unit has issued a measles alert following a confirmed case of the highly infectious disease on Brisbane’s northside.
The Australian citizen arrived at Brisbane Airport on Saturday, 28 September, from Queenstown, New Zealand. She arrived at 2.20pm and was picked up in a private car and driven to Mooloolaba.
While there is minimal exposure risk in Brisbane, the woman was unknowingly infectious while staying at the Peninsular Beachfront Resort at Mooloolaba, from 28 September to 1 October.
During this time, she visited several cafes and restaurants in the Mooloolaba Esplanade shopping precinct.
Metro North Public Health physician Dr Mekala Srirajalingam said people who were in these areas at the same time should seek medical advice if they develop measles symptoms.
“Measles is one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases and is spread by tiny droplets generated through coughing and sneezing,” Dr Srirajalingam said.
“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.
“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.”
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).