A child with measles.
A child with measles.

Measles alert after new case confirmed

QUEENSLAND Health has issued a new measles alert after a man returned to Brisbane from Vietnam with the highly contagious virus and visited several public areas.

Metro North Public Health Unit said the latest Queensland case had visited Priceline Pharmacy at Toombul Shopping Centre between 1.30 and 2.30pm on April 11, Coles at Kedron on April 13 between 10 and 11am and KC Dry Cleaners at Kent Road, Wooloowin on the morning of Saturday, April 13.

Public health physician Rosie Muller said people who may have come in contact with the man at these locations should seek medical advice if they develop measles symptoms, including a fever, runny nose, fatigue and sore, red eyes.

 

A child with measles.
A child with measles.

These are followed a few days later by a blotchy red rash, which often starts on the face before spreading throughout the body.

The new case brings to 13 the number of measles cases recorded in the state this year, just one less than for the whole of 2018.

Most of this year's cases have resulted from people acquiring the disease overseas and then infecting others on their return.

Bad measles outbreaks are underway in the Ukraine, the Philippines, Madagascar and New York.

Dr Muller said measles symptoms typically begin between 10 and 18 days after infection.

She said if people believe they may have measles, they should contact their medical practice before arrival so that precautions could be taken to avoid them spreading the potentially deadly disease to others.

Queensland Health recommends anyone born after 1965, who had not had two documented doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) jab - or a proven case of measles - to get a free vaccination, particularly if they were travelling overseas.

Research shows measles deaths in Australia have plummeted since a vaccination against the virus was included on the National Immunisation Program more than 40 years ago.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data shows that between 1956 and 1975 - the two decades before a measles jab was included on the program - 356 deaths were reported.

In the 20 years between 1996 and 2016, three Australians died after contracting the virus.

Measles complications can include pneumonia and encephalitis - inflammation of the brain.

Some patients are left with permanent hearing loss and brain damage.


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