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Measles Alert

16/07/2014

Potential for local cases of Measles

There have been two recent cases of measles imported into Cairns from Papua New Guinea – one at a local school and one in the community. We ask that you be aware of the possibility of further secondary cases as the new school term begins. Students returning from holidays overseas may develop symptoms in the next two weeks. Secondary cases from the most recent local case could occur up until 19th July. 

People with measles are infectious prior to the appearance of the rash (from 5 days before until 4 days after it appears), so there may be transmission before children develop typical symptoms. Any suspected cases should be sent home while waiting for appropriate test results. 

Typical features of measles are:

  • One or more of cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis
  • Generalised rash beginning on the face and trunk
  • Fever present at the time of the onset of the rash
  • (A history of vaccination with two measles-containing vaccines makes infection unlikely).

In the event of a confirmed case, any unimmunised students should be excluded for 14 days, as should any staff or student with impaired immunity. See the Time Out Guidelines

If you have any questions, please contact Tropical Public Health Services (Cairns) on (07) 4226-5555