New measles warning as outbreak continues
HEALTH authorities are contacting patients who attended the Redland Hospital emergency department at the same time as a man later diagnosed with the measles.
The man is Queensland's 63rd confirmed measles case for 2019.
He visited the Redland Hospital emergency department on November 25 and 26, part of an ongoing outbreak of measles in the Metro South Hospital and Health Service region.
So far, 25 people have been linked to the outbreak.
Figures provided by Queensland Health show 21 of this year's measles cases acquired the infection overseas, resulting in at least 19 more cases.
Of the 21 overseas-acquired cases, nine were infected in New Zealand, three in Vietnam, two in the Philippines, two in Samoa, one in Myanmar and one case in Thailand. Three cases visited multiple measles-endemic countries.
Seven of the 63 cases reported in Queensland this year have been children under five years old.
The latest case attended Redland Hospital on the afternoon of November 25 through to 2am on November 26.
Metro South public health physician Kari Jarvinen said the man visited restaurants on Brisbane's southside, Brisbane's central business district and parts of Brisbane's northside while infectious.
"The current (measles) outbreak commenced in early October and was related to infected travellers coming to Queensland from overseas, and then inadvertently transmitting the highly contagious virus to others," Dr Jarvinen said.
"Our concern now is about the ongoing risk of measles transmission from travellers coming
into Australia, and for travellers from here going to overseas areas where there are a
number of serious epidemics in progress, particularly in New Zealand and the Pacific region.
"This current outbreak is a timely reminder to stop and think if you have had two doses of
Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine. You need to have two doses to be protected," Dr Jarvinen said.
Measles is highly contagious and can remain airborne for up to 30 minutes after the infected person has left a room. The virus is spread by tiny droplets through coughing and sneezing.
Early symptoms include fever, runny nose, tiredness and sore, red eyes. This is followed by
a blotchy red rash, which often starts on the face before becoming widespread.
Dr Jarvinen said anyone who feared they may have measles should call their general practitioner's surgery or hospital emergency department before arrival so plans could be made to prevent the virus from spreading to others in the waiting room.
Metro South Hospital and Health Service has recorded about half of all Queensland's measles cases this year with 32, followed by the Gold Coast with 10. Cairns and Hinterland HHS and Metro North have both had six cases each.
The Sunshine Coast HHS has had five and Townsville and West Moreton HHS have both recorded two each.
For more information: 13 HEALTH