Doctors expecting more measles cases in Ipswich

HEALTH authorities are warning of further outbreak of measles after a fourth case was confirmed yesterday.

The West Moreton Hospital and Health Service yesterday said they had received a report of a man, who was unknowingly carrying the infectious disease, and had visited the Ipswich Hospital numerous times between September 6 and 11.

On September 7 a woman, who was also unaware she had measles, visited the Leichhardt pharmacy about noon. The health service said they did not believe that the cases were linked.

Public health physician, Dr Heidi Carroll, said residents who visited Ipswich Hospital and Leichhardt pharmacy on those dates should be alert for symptoms with the possibility for more cases to present themselves in the coming weeks.

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

"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. Symptoms usually start after 10 days, but can occur between seven and 18 days after infection. Anyone who develops measles-like symptoms within the next week or two should contact their GP for advice.

"It is very important to call the medical practice first to say you could have measles, so that staff can take precautions to avoid spreading the disease to others."

Dr Carroll said people born between 1966 and the mid-1980s may be at risk if they have missed being vaccinated as a child.

"If people are unsure of their vaccination status, it is important that the see their GP to ensure their vaccinations are up to date," Dr Carroll said.

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