Measles Alert in Brisbane – 96five Family Radio

Measles Alert in Brisbane

By 96five Sunday 27 May 2012

Queensland Health is urging anyone who was at South Bank Lifestyle Market (Stanley Street Plaza) on 19 May and Garden City Upper Mt Gravatt on 20 May, to be alert for symptoms of measles following confirmation of a case in a person who had visited these locations while infectious.

Public Health Medical Officer, Dr Brad McCall, said that the person, who has been hospitalised in a Brisbane hospital, is thought to have acquired the infection in Southeast Asia.

“We urge anyone who was at the South Bank Lifestyle Market (on 19 May) or at Garden City, particularly the JB Hi-Fi store (on 20 May)to ensure they are protected against measles and to seek medical advice if they develop symptoms,” Dr McCall said.

“Measles is one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases, and can be acquired in public places if infectious people are present. Measles is spread by tiny droplets through coughing and sneezing.

“The initial symptoms are fever, lethargy, runny nose, moist cough and sore and red eyes, followed a few days later by a blotchy red rash. The rash starts on the face then becomes widespread.” Dr McCall said symptoms usually started around 10 days after infection but sometimes longer.

“Anyone, particularly those who were at Garden City or at the South Bank Lifestyle Market on Sunday 20 May, who develops measles-like symptoms within the next week or two should contact their GP for advice,” he 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.” Dr McCall said Queensland Health recommends anyone born during or since 1966, who had not had two documented doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine or had proven measles, should visit their local GP to get vaccinated for measles. The vaccine was free for anyone who required it.

“Measles can be very distressing for those affected, and complications can include pneumonia or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and occasionally death,” he said. “It can be a severe illness even in otherwise healthy adolescents and young adults.

“Queensland Health will continue to actively investigate this case and do whatever it can to prevent further transmission.”

For more information on the measles virus, people should contact their local GP or call Queensland Health’s phone line 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

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