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Measles alert issued for Ipswich

A measles alert has been issued after a woman who was later diagnosed with measles, attended Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department and other parts of the city between 29 November and 3 December.

Queensland Health has been notified of the case, who was a relative of a child later diagnosed with measles who presented to Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department on 19 and 21 November.

The woman was treated at Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department between midnight Friday 29 November and 7am Saturday 30 November. West Moreton Health staff took appropriate infection prevention measures while assessing the woman’s condition.

West Moreton Health’s infection control staff are contacting people who visited the emergency department at the time the woman was there.

West Moreton Health’s public health physician, Dr Vicki Slinko said the initial symptoms of measles 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 then becomes widespread over the body,” Dr Slinko said.

“And if unwell with the symptoms of measles, it is very important to contact your GP and advise them first that you could have measles, so that staff can take precautions.”

The woman attended a number of locations in the Ipswich area while unknowingly infectious. These included:

  • Redbank Plaza Shopping Centre, including K Mart and Big W, between 8:15 and 9:45 am on Friday 29 November 2019 and again on Saturday 30 November between 9:00 and 10:30 am, including Aldi and Big W
  • Brookwater Health Centre on Friday 29 November 2019 between 1:30 and 2:30 pm
  • Booval Mega Meats on Saturday 30 November between 7:00 and 7:30 am
  • JNA Fresh Meats at Inala on Saturday 30 November between 8:00 and 9:00 am
  • KFC at Redbank Plains on Monday 2 December 2019 between 6:00 and 7:00pm
  • Hungry Jacks Redbank Plains drive through at around 4:15 pm Tuesday 3 December 2019
  • Redbank Family Health Centre on Thursday 28 November between 1:45 and 2:30 pm, Sunday 1 December between 10:30 am and 12:00 noon, Monday 2 December 2019 between 4:30 and 5:45 pm and Tuesday 3 December 2019 between 3:30 and 5:00 pm

Dr Slinko said people in those areas should look for symptoms over the next couple of weeks.

“People in those areas at those times who are unsure or have concerns about their immunity to measles should contact their doctor to check whether they have had both vaccines,” Dr Slinko said.

Due to measles being common before 1966, anyone born before 1966 is considered immune to measles as they should have acquired immunity from natural infection.

Dr Slinko said people who have been adequately vaccinated with two recorded doses of Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine are likely to be immune.

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

For more information on measles visit the Queensland Health website or contact 13 HEALTH
(13 43 25 84) any time, any day.

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.

3 Comments

  1. I am older so I had the measles when I was young and everyone around me too. Without any bad results. But now I cannot understand the panic button being pushed so dramatically when every one seems to have been vaccinated. So there should be no danger for them. And for those that have not been vaccinated; it’s their choice. Why is everyone so freaked out?

    1. 60+ people have died because of it in Samoa. That’s why people are so freaked out. With inadequate care, it’s a deadly virus.

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