Public health alerts

Measles alert for Brisbane

A new case of measles was diagnosed this week with possible contacts around Brisbane. The person with measles was infectious when they visited the following places:

  • Virgin Airlines flight VA 1397 from Adelaide to Brisbane on the evening of Friday 28 June
  • People who were at the Brisbane Domestic Airport between 5pm and 6pm on Friday 28 June

People who may have come into contact with the patient (as per the above) need to be alert for symptoms, and those who are uncertain of their immunity to measles are urged to speak to their GP immediately. Given the large numbers of people potentially exposed, further measles cases could present in Brisbane or elsewhere over the next two weeks.

Measles transmission can occur in medical settings.

When a patient with suspected measles attends a medical facility, contacts (other patients/staff at the facility) are at risk of acquiring the infection.

The following recommendations will minimise the risk of transmission within facilities:

  • Triage patients with fever and rash to a room that can be left vacant for 30 minutes after consultation. Where possible, examine cases of suspected measles at home.
  • Ensure the patient is wearing a surgical mask while in the surgery, particularly if they need to walk through the surgery or shared areas.
  • Ensure practice staff in contact with the suspected case are either fully vaccinated (2 doses of MMR) or have a serologically confirmed evidence of measles immunity.

The following guidelines are for the management of measles:

Check that the symptoms satisfy all of the clinical criteria:

  1. generalised maculopapular rash (which usually begins on the face, before spreading to the rest of the body);
  2. fever of at least 38 degrees still present at the time of rash onset;
  3. cough or coryza or conjunctivitis or Koplik’s spots.
  • Notify the public health unit immediately of any case satisfying the clinical criteria.
  • Measles PCR of a naso-pharyngeal swab (in viral transport medium – not gel) and urine are appropriate in early illness.

Consider opportunistic vaccination for any unimmunised patients attending for any reason. All staff in your practice born on or after 1966 should have documented evidence of two doses of MMR.

Due to the increased and ongoing measles transmission overseas, it is particularly important for travellers who are not immune or unsure to get vaccinated before leaving Australia.

For more information on the measles please visit:

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