USC student diagnosed with measles, campus on alert

STAFF at the University of the Sunshine Coast are among those warned to be on the lookout for measles symptoms.

A third case of the highly contagious, vaccine-preventable illness has been confirmed on the Sunshine Coast since January 1.

A USC dietetics student, who visited a number of locations in the Caloundra area last week, as well as touring Stradbroke Island from March 20 onwards, has the disease.

Public Health physician Dr James Smith said the three confirmed cases were "linked".

The first person acquired the infection in Vietnam.

The total number of confirmed measles cases for Queensland during the same period is 10.

USC Human Resources director Mark Nugent warned staff that measles had the potential to cause very serious complications.

"The initial symptoms are very similar to the common cold or flu, with the usual addition of inflamed, sore eyes with (or without) sensitivity to light, getting more severe over the first three days.

"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."

Dr Smith said that given the large numbers of people potentially exposed, more measles cases may occur in Brisbane or anywhere in Queensland over the next few weeks.

"If people are adequately vaccinated with two recorded doses of Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, they are very unlikely to get the disease," he said.

"Measles is one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases and is spread by tiny droplets through coughing and sneezing."

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