Cairns and Townsville residents are urged to be on the look out for measles.
A case of the disease has been confirmed in the Cairns and Innisfail areas, with no confirmed cases for Townsville yet.
Public health physician Dr Nishila Moodley says measles is highly infectious.
“The virus is spread by person-to-person contact and coughing and sneezing,” she says.
“The particles can stay in a room and infect others for up to two hours and can be in the air and on surfaces.”
Symptoms can take between seven and 18 days to start, though they usually begin around 10 days after exposure.
They include fever, lethargy, a runny nose, a wet cough, and sore red eyes, which is then followed by the development of a red rash which often starts on the face and then spreads across the body.
You are considered to be immune to measles if you were born before 1966, you have had two documented doses of a measles-containing vaccine, you have measles immunity proven on blood testing or you have had laboratory-confirmed measles disease.
Dr Moodley says anyone who was not already immunised should make an appointment to get the vaccine.
“The vaccination is free from your GP and is the best way to protect yourself from contracting and spreading the measles to other people,” she says.
An alert has been issued by the Tropical Public Health Services in Cairns for people who visited the following locations:
Friday 27 October
- Pets Domain, Innisfail 1:20pm to 1:40pm
- Woolworths Innisfail: 8:10pm to 8:20pm
Saturday 28 October
- BWS Cairns, Lake Street, 3:10pm to 3:20pm
- The Jack Hotel, Corner Sheridan and Spence streets any time after 3:30pm
- Gilligan’s Hotel and Resort, 57/89 Grafton St, Cairns, between 10:30pm and 12:40am
- Milky Lane, The Esplanade Cairns, between 5:20pm and 5:50pm
- Woolworths, Cairns between 5:50pm and 6pm Sunday 29 October
- The Jack Hotel any time before 11am
- Cairns Central Shopping Centre food court area between 11:20am and 12noon
- Supercheap Auto Earlville between 12:55pm and 1:05pm
Townsville residents who visited any of these locations should be alert for signs and symptoms of measles over the coming three weeks and call their GP for advice.