A CHILD travelling from India to Brisbane has unknowingly spread the contagious disease around Queensland.
HUNDREDS of people have been exposed to measles when a child who arrived here from India visited several locations unknowingly infected.
Queensland Health was notified of a diagnosed case on Brisbane’s Southside yesterday.
Dr Bhakti Vasant, of Metro South Health, said residents in the Brisbane and Logan areas needed to be alert for symptoms. People who may have come into contact with the child who are uncertain of their immunity to measles should speak to their GP immediately.
Locations the child visited while infectious are as follows:
– Thai Airways International flight TG 316 Delhi to Bangkok (departure 11.30pm, May 21, arrival 5.25am, May 22)
– Thai Airways International flight TG 477 Bangkok to Brisbane (departure 9am, May 22, arrival 7.50pm, May 22)
– Brisbane International Airport in the arrivals or baggage claim areas on Tuesday May 22 from 7.50pm to 9.45pm
– Target at the Springwood Shopping Mall on Friday, May 25 between 2pm and 5pm
– Logan Emergency Department waiting room from 10pm, Thursday, May 24 to 1.45am, Friday May 25
– Logan Emergency Department ambulance bays Saturday, May 26 between 6-7pm.
Dr Vasant said given the large numbers of people potentially exposed, further measles cases could present in Brisbane or elsewhere over the next few weeks. “If people are adequately vaccinated with two recorded doses of Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine, they are very unlikely to get the disease,” he said.
“People who are unsure or have concerns about their immunity to measles should contact their doctor to check whether they have had both vaccines. Measles is one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases and is spread by tiny droplets through coughing and sneezing. True measles is a serious viral infection that causes fever, cough, runny nose, then a red spotty rash and sore eyes a few days later.”
Symptoms usually start about 7 to 10 days after infection but sometimes longer so anyone who develops measles-like symptoms within the next fortnight should contact their GP for advice.
“It is 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 Vasant said.
Dr Vasant said measles could make people very unwell and although complications were uncommon they could be very serious.
About 30 per cent of adults with measles will be hospitalised.
“It can be a severe illness even in otherwise healthy adolescents and young adults. Queensland Health staff will continue to actively investigate this case and do whatever they can to prevent further transmission,” Dr Vasant said.
“Because of recent measles outbreaks overseas, it is particularly important for travellers to get vaccinated before leaving Australia. Please speak to your GP regarding vaccination before travelling.”