Prisoners test positive to measles at Woodford

TESTS have confirmed that four prisoners in Woodford Correctional Centre have measles with another highly likely to have contracted the disease.

Queensland Health will investigate whether these cases are related to recent cases in Brisbane and across Ipswich.

Dr Stephen Lambert, Acting Senior Director of the Department of Health Communicable Diseases Unit, said a mass immunisation campaign would be rolled out at the centre to reduce further risks to staff, visitors and prisoners.

"We are dealing with a highly condensed population of around 150 staff and 900 prisoners who work and live in close proximity," Dr Lambert said.

"This means more cases are highly likely as a large number of staff and prisoners have potentially been exposed.

"Queensland Health's Metro North Public Health Unit will work closely with correctional centre colleagues from tomorrow to implement strategies which reduce the risk of further infections.

"They will also work out the logistics of implementing a mass immunisation campaign which ensures maximum coverage for prisoners and staff working across different rosters and shifts."

Anyone born in or after 1966, who has visited the Woodford Correctional Centre since 21 October should also check their immunisation status.

Any visitor whose immunisation was not up to date when visiting the centre after this date should discuss getting a measles vaccine with their GP.

True measles is a serious viral infection that causes fever, cough, runny nose, then a red spotty rash and sore eyes a few days later. Occasionally measles has dangerous complications.

If you have been to the prison and are unwell with symptoms of measles, contact your GP alerting them you may have measles and make an appointment immediately.

A fact sheet for the public about measles is available from Queensland Health

http://access.health.qld.gov.au/hid/infectionsandparasites/viralinfections/measles_fs.asp

Topics:  measles, queensland health, woodford correctional centre



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