Measles alert for southeast Queensland

A NEW measles warning has been issued in Queensland after a child was diagnosed with the highly infectious virus.

The child visited Just Pharmacy at Murrumba Downs Shopping Centre between 7pm and 7.45pm on Tuesday, July 2, and Taigum Square Shopping Centre on Beams Road, Taigum, between 10.15am and 11.15am on Friday, July 5.

Public Health Physician Rosie Muller, of the Metro North Hospital and Health Service, advised people who were in either shopping centre at those times should seek medical advice if they developed measles symptoms.

Measles is one of the most infectious of all diseases and is spread by tiny droplets generated through coughing and sneezing.

Symptoms include a fever, runny nose, fatigue and sore, red eyes.

These are followed a few days later by a blotchy red rash, which often starts on the face before becoming more widespread.

A measles cell.
A measles cell.

"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 Muller 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."

Queensland has recorded 16 measles cases so far this year - two more than for the whole of 2018.

Health authorities recommend anyone born during or since 1966, who has not received two documented cases of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine, should visit a general practitioner for vaccination.

The vaccine is free for anyone who requires it.

Measles can result in serious complications, such as pneumonia, and inflammation of the brain.

For more information, phone 13 HEALTH.