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Anxious wait for deadly virus case as 17-day deadline looms

A person infected with the deadly measles virus travelled from Sydney to Rockhampton before they were diagnosed.
A person infected with the deadly measles virus travelled from Sydney to Rockhampton before they were diagnosed.

A PERSON infected with measles left Rockhampton on high-alert over the deadly virus, but the danger is not over yet.

The carrier travelled interstate from Sydney to Rockhampton via Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast from April 8 to 10, before they presented at the Rockhampton Hospital on April 11.

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Hundreds of Stockland shoppers were potentially exposed to the airborne virus as the person visited the Stockland shopping centre in North Rockhampton between 12.30-2.30pm on April 10.

The Central Queensland Public Health Unit (CQPHU) today said they were not aware of any further confirmed cases, but warned it may be another week before symptoms appear.

CQPHU director doctor Kerryn Coleman has two clear messages for Rockhampton residents, and anyone who was in the other known locations in Sydney and the Sunshine Coast.

"Firstly, to be aware of the signs and symptoms of measles, know that they can appear any time between seven to 18 days after contact with a case," Dr Coleman said.

"If you do get sick with a few and/or early signs of measles please see your GP and call ahead first to inform them so processes are put in place to protect other patients and staff at the clinic.

"Those who are born in or since 1966 and have not had 2 documented doses of MMR vaccine, or had proven measles, are potentially at risk of developing measles after contact."

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Secondly, she urged people take this opportunity to check their immunisation status with their GP, and get any missing vaccines, including a second measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine if you only have had one.

The CQPHU were unable to provide an update on the patient with the confirmed case of measles, who travelled to these known locations:

  • Monday, April 10: Stockland shopping centre in North Rockhampton between 12.30pm and 2.30pm.
  • Sunday, April 9: Hastings St in Noosa between 9am and 10am.
  • Saturday, April 8: Sydney airport from 3pm, then travelled on a Virgin Australia flight from Sydney to Brisbane, arriving at Brisbane airport approximately 6pm.

Measles warning | Early warning signs people should know

SIGNS, SYMPTOMS AND TREATING MEASLES

  • Initial symptoms include fever, lethargy, runny nose, moist cough and sore and red eyes.
  • This is followed a few days later by a blotchy, red rash which often starts on the face and neck, then spreads over the body.
  • Immunisation against measles is recommended as part of the National Immunisation Program Schedule and the vaccine is free for:
  • - Children aged 12 months and 18 months; and
  • - Children at 4 years of age who have not previously received a second dose of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR).
  • Protection against measles is given through a combined MMR vaccine.
  • Two doses are needed to provide a high level of protection. Queensland Health provides up to two vaccines for every person born after 1966 free of charge, however you may be charged a consultation fee.
  • Women planning a pregnancy should discuss whether they should be immunised against measles with their doctor. If so, they should be vaccinated with MMR vaccine at least 28 days before becoming pregnant or immediately after delivery.

Topics:  health health warning measles queensland health stockland virus



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