Two new Toowoomba measles cases confirmed

TWO new cases of measles have been confirmed in Toowoomba.

They are both from the same family as the primary school-aged child who tested positive to the highly contagious condition early this month.

Both the new cases have been kept at home since the other family member was diagnosed, so health authorities believe the risk of further infections from direct contact with them is minimal.

The Darling Downs Public Health Unit is urging all residents from the Toowoomba area to protect their families against measles by ensuring their vaccinations are up to date.

Unit director Dr Penny Hutchinson said it was the fifth confirmed case locally in the past two months, with 41 reported across the state so far this year.

"Measles is one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases - but it is preventable through vaccination," Dr Hutchinson said.

"It is not a low-risk childhood illness - it is a serious viral condition measles can make people in any age group very unwell.

"Although complications are uncommon they can be very serious, with approximately 30 per cent of adults with measles hospitalised.

"It can be a severe illness even in otherwise healthy adolescents and young adults."

She said people should be aware of symptoms, including fever, cough and runny nose.

"Symptoms usually start around 10 days, but can occur between seven and 18 days after infection.

"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.

"Anyone who thinks they may have come into contact with the patient can also call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for advice."

Topics:  health measles

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