Tourist cleared of measles virus
A MAN has been cleared of the measles virus after an investigation by the Public Health Unit but people are still advised to be vigilant.
The health unit this week investigated two possible new measles cases in the Mackay Hospital and Health Service area.
On Friday a measles alert was issued after it was suspected that a guest at a pre-wedding party and wedding in the Whitsundays was infected.
One person was consequently tested by the health unit but came up negative and tests were not ordered on the second person.
Public Health Physician Doctor Steven Donohue said that, as a precautionary measure, more than 100 people were contacted to inform them they may have been exposed to measles.
“A significant amount of MMR vaccine was flown into Mackay on Friday night and distributed to afterhours medical clinics as well as Proserpine Hospital,” he said.
“All GP clinics were also visited by public health staff on Friday and ad- vised of the situation and given posters to display. This is also being done at all pathology labs in the Mackay-Whitsunday area.”
Fears were held for people attending a wedding at the Cape Gloucester Beach Resort Hydeaway Bay on Friday and guests at La Tabella Trattoria, at Airlie Beach on Sunday.
While no outbreak was detected, Dr Donohue warned it was possible cases could develop as people can become symptomatic for 18 to 21 days after exposure.
“This means for the first case we could expect to see cases up until September 11,” he said.
“However if there are other cases the date will be later.
Anyone who has symptoms of measles should telephone their GP immediately and advise if they think they may have measles. This ensures processes are in place to protect other patients from exposure.
Measles is a highly infectious and serious viral infection that causes fever, cough, runny nose, sore eyes and then a red spotty rash a few days later. It is often a severe disease and occasionally has dangerous complications.
It is spread by tiny droplets in the air or by contact with infected secretions from the nose or mouth.
Queensland Health recommends anyone born during or since 1966, who has not had two documented doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine or had proven measles, should visit their local GP to get vaccinated for measles. The vaccine is free for anyone who required it.