Topics:  infectious diseases, ipswich, measles

Measles alert

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service has been notified of a resident of Ipswich who has been diagnosed with measles and was in Ipswich while they were likely to be infectious from August 25.

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service public health physician Dr Heidi Carroll said all Ipswich residents needed to be alert for symptoms, particularly those who may have come into contact with the patient.

The patient visited Ipswich Hospital on August 26 and 30, and September 1, 2013. The patient also travelled by train from Dinmore to Ipswich on the afternoon of August 30. The patient did not know they were infectious at the time.

Dr Carroll said if people are adequately vaccinated with two recorded doses of Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine, they were very unlikely to get the disease.

"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 around 10 days after infection but sometimes longer so anyone who develops measles-like symptoms within the next week or two 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 Carroll said measles can make people very unwell and although complications are uncommon they can be very serious. Approximately 30 per cent of adults with measles will be hospitalised.

"It can be a severe illness even in otherwise healthy adolescents and young adults. Health staff will continue to actively investigate this case and do whatever they can to prevent further transmission," Dr Carroll said.

For more information on the measles virus visit:

http://access.health.qld.gov.au/hid/infectionsandparasites/viralinfections/measles_fs.asp or contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).



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