Measles can be deadly to young children.
Measles can be deadly to young children. Contributed

Deadly measles confirmed in baby boy in Qld

HEALTH authorities have confirmed a case of highly contagious and potentially deadly measles in an infant boy, issuing a warning to anyone who has visited the North Lakes area.

Metro North Public Health Unit (MNPHU) released the alert today, urging anyone who had visited North Lakes to ensure they had been vaccinated or seek medical advice.

Public Health Physician Dr Megan Young said MNPHU was working with the health care facilities and venues where the child had visited, and urged anyone who was in those areas around the same time to ensure they are immune to measles.

"Measles is one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases and is spread by tiny droplets through coughing and sneezing," Dr Young said.

"Symptoms usually start around 10 days after contact, but can occur between 7 and 18 days after contact with an infectious person.

"Vaccinations are recommended for anyone born during or since 1966, who has not had two documented doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine or had proven measles."

The MMR vaccine is funded, and families can arrange vaccination through their GP.

Dr Young said anyone who develops measles-like symptoms within the next three weeks should stay home and contact their GP for advice.

"The initial symptoms of measles include fever, lethargy, runny nose, moist cough and sore and red eyes," he said.

"This is followed a few days later by a blotchy, red rash. The rash often starts on the face then becomes widespread over the body.

"If you do need to seek treatment, it is 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."

The child is believed to have visited the following locations while infectious, before he was diagnosed:

Tuesday February 27: Runcorn Plaza Family Medical Practice about 11.30am

Thursday March 1: Westfield North Lakes Shopping Centre about 7.30pm-8.30pm.

Friday March 2: Runcorn Plaza Family Medical Practice about 11 am, and Lady Cilento Children's Hospital Emergency Department, about 3pm-8pm.