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Measles alert for the West Moreton area

A measles alert has been issued for the Ipswich area after a child visited Ipswich, who was later diagnosed with measles.

The child attended Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department and other parts of the city last week from 15 to 21 November.

Queensland Health has been notified of the case, involving a child visiting the West Moreton area from overseas.

The child was treated at Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department on Tuesday 19 November and on Thursday 21 November.

West Moreton Health’s public health physician, Dr Vicki Slinko said residents in the eastern Ipswich area should look for symptoms over the next couple of weeks.

Anyone in this area who is unsure of their immunity to measles should speak to their GP first.

Other locations the child visited while infectious were:

Tuesday 19 November:

  • Kruger Village Shopping Centre, Redbank Plains 9am to 10.30am
  • McDonalds, Bellbird Park, around 11am

 West Moreton Health’s infection control staff have been contacting 30 people who visited the emergency department between 7pm – 3am on the Tuesday and in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department Deputy Director Dr Simon Newman said the child was in the separate paediatric waiting area on both presentations and all infection prevention measures were taken when measles was suspected.

“Queensland Health staff will continue to actively investigate this case and do whatever they can to prevent further transmission.”

Members of the public who were in these locations during these times should ensure they are protected against measles and seek medical advice if they develop symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms

Measles begins with symptoms such as fever, tiredness, cough, runny nose and/or red inflamed eyes. These symptoms usually become more severe over three days.

The cough is often worse at night and the affected person may wish to avoid light because of sore eyes.

At this stage of the illness, there may be small white spots on a red base in the mouth on the inside of the cheek (Koplik’s spots).

This is then followed by a blotchy, dark red rash usually beginning at the hairline.

Over the next 24 to 48 hours, the rash spreads over the entire body, during which time the person generally feels very unwell.

Typically with measles, the fever is present and the person feels most unwell during the first couple of days after the rash appears.

The rash usually disappears after six days.

About the virus

Measles is an acute, highly infectious illness caused by the measles virus.

Measles can cause serious complications such as pneumonia (lung infection) and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

It may also cause middle ear infection.

Measles should not be regarded as a simple mild disease.

Deaths occur mainly in children under five years of age, primarily from pneumonia, and occasionally from encephalitis.

Complications are more common and more severe in people with a chronic illness and very young children.

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