The measles alert has been extended for the Whitsundays region.
The measles alert has been extended for the Whitsundays region. Che Chapman

Measles alert in northern Queensland

The Whitsundays measles alert has been extended after a Proserpine woman has tested positive for the disease and travelled to Townsville while infectious.

Another tourist contact from the Whitsundays case has also been infectious in Cairns.

Public Health Physician Dr Steven Donohue said weekend laboratory tests confirmed the 34-year-old from Proserpine had measles after coming in contact with the first case in mid-March.

She was contagious when she visited these public areas:

  •  Sunday, March 27, Hotel Metropole, Proserpine around lunchtime
  •  Tuesday, March 29, Proserpine Pharmacy around 4.30pm
  •  Wednesday, March 30, IGA Proserpine about 8.30am; Ayr Red Rooster and KFC around lunchtime, in the afternoon at KFC in Townsville, Coles and a pharmacy in North Ward and evening at the Park Regis Anchorage Motel
  •  Thursday, March 31, Townsville GP Superclinic and pharmacy and Simply Tops Fish and Chips, Palmer St
  •  Friday, April 1, Bamford Medical in Townsville before being driven back to Proserpine.

The woman is in a stable condition in Proserpine Hospital.

Dr Donohue said the second cases ware an indication of how contagious measles is.

"Anyone born after 1965 and who has not been fully vaccinated against measles (two documented doses of MMR or proven infection) should see their GP immediately," he said.

People born before 1966 are likely to have been exposed to widespread measles at that time and are considered immune.

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. The rash often starts on the face then becomes widespread.

If you have been to any of these places at these times and are not vaccinated you should contact your GP.

"If you become sick with fever, phone your GP before you arrive and let them know you may have measles, so that processes are in place to protect other patients from exposure," Dr Donohue said.



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