Deadly virus confirmed, hundreds of shoppers could be exposed
AUTHORITIES are warning every shopper at Stockland Rockhampton yesterday could have been exposed to the deadly measles virus.
Queensland Health is now urging all visitors to the north Rockhampton centre yesterday to check their immunisation status after a person was diagnosed today.
The visitor was at the shopping centre between 12.30pm and 2.30pm on Monday.
Central Queensland Public Health Unit's Dr Kerryn Coleman said they were following up on known contacts of the case, who is visiting Central Queensland from interstate.
"If you were at the centre during this time, were born in or since 1966 and have not had two documented doses of MMR vaccine or had proven measles, you should see your GP for a vaccine," Dr Coleman said.
Queensland Health are warning the virus can kill.
ROCKY'S BIZARRE PARASITES, VIRUSES |
Initial reports of a confirmed measles case gained traction on Facebook just before midday today.
Gemma Margarita Dadson warned, "CQ families there's been an outbreak of measles at the Stocklands shopping fair so keep your tiny ones away for a few days as the virus is airborne."
She claimed to have found out through someone who knew the infected person.
Another user, Samantha Chapman, later posted: "URGENT PLEASE READ!!!!! Measles outbreak confirmed in Stockland shopping centre Rockhampton TODAY (sic) please stay away for a while as this is an airborn disease!!!!"
The Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service advise if you were in the area and get sick with a fever in the next few weeks see your GP, but call ahead first to inform them so processes are put in place to protect other patients at the clinic.
SIGNS, SYMPTOMS AND TREATING MEASLES
- Measles is a highly infectious virus spread by droplets through coughing and sneezing.
- A person may be infectious from about five days before the onset of the rash until about four days after the rash appears.
- Symptoms usually start around 10 days after contact, but can occur between seven and 18 days after contact with an infected person.
- 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 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
- - Children at four 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.
- 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.
Queensland Health advise you can be immunised at your local doctor or medical centre.
Further advice is available by contacting your family doctor, or by calling 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).
Dr Coleman stressed Stockland was not responsible for causing any risk to public health, and there is no ongoing risk to future visitors to the centre.