A measles patient (File picture)
A measles patient (File picture)

Measles alert prompts vaccination rollout

PUBLIC health officials have warned of a measles outbreak in the southern Brisbane and Logan areas, confirming four cases of the highly infectious virus in the past three weeks.

The outbreak has prompted the Metro South Hospital and Health Service to rollout a targeted immunisation campaign for residents with free vaccination clinics being set up at Jimboomba, Marsden, Crestmead, Browns Plains and Logan.

Public health physician Karl Jarvinen said the clinics would run from tomorrow to Saturday, April 14.

He said measles was a serious viral infection that may lead to pneumonia, brain inflammation and other serious illness.

"It is not a mild disease," Dr Jarvinen said.

He said extensive contact tracing was under way in a bid to identify people who may have been exposed to the cases.

Dr Jarvinen said measles symptoms included a fever, lethargy, moist cough, runny nose, then a red spotty rash and sore eyes a few days later.

"The rash often starts on the face then becomes widespread over the body," he said.

"Anyone who may have come into contact with an infectious person and are uncertain of their immunity to measles should speak to their general practitioner immediately."

Dr Jarvinen described measles as "one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases", spread by tiny droplets through coughing and sneezing.

"Getting yourself and your family vaccinated will help prevent serious illness and also reduce the risk of you having to take weeks off work, school or day care," he said.

"Symptoms usually start around 10 days after contact, but can occur between seven and 18 days after contact with an infectious person. It is particularly important for travellers to get vaccinated before leaving Australia."

For details of the free vaccination clinics, contact 13 HEALTH.

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