Measles alert for Brisbane - 28 May 2018

A case of measles in a child with possible contacts around Brisbane was diagnosed over the weekend. The child with measles was infectious when they visited the following places:

  • Thai Airways International flight TG 316 Delhi to Bangkok (departure 11:30pm, 21 May 2018, arrival 5:25am, 22 May 2018)
  • Thai Airways International flight TG 477 Bangkok to Brisbane (departure 9:00am, 22 May 2018, arrival 7:50pm, 22 May 2018)
  • Brisbane International Airport in the arrivals or baggage claim areas on Tuesday 22 May 2018 from 7:50pm to 9:45pm
  • Target at the Springwood Shopping Mall on Friday 25 May between 2pm and 5pm
  • Logan Hospital Paediatric Emergency Department waiting room from 10pm, Thursday 24 May to 1:45am, Friday 25 May
  • Logan Hospital Paediatric Emergency Department ambulance bays Saturday 26 May 2018 from 6-7 pm

People who may have come into contact with the case at the above facilities on the dates in question need to be alert for symptoms, and those who are uncertain of their immunity to
measles are urged to speak to their GP immediately.

Given the large numbers of people potentially exposed, further measles cases could present in Brisbane or elsewhere over the next few weeks.

Measles transmission can occur in medical settings.

When a patient with suspected measles attends a medical facility, contacts (other patients/staff at the facility) are at risk of acquiring the infection.

The following recommendations will minimise the risk of transmission within facilities:

  • Triage patients with fever and rash to a room that can be left vacant for 30 minutes after consultation. Where possible, examine cases of suspected measles at home.
  • Ensure the patient is wearing a surgical mask while in the facility, particularly if they need to walk through shared or public areas.
  • Ensure practice staff in contact with the suspected case are either fully vaccinated (2 doses of MMR) or have a serologically confirmed history of measles.

The following guidelines are for the management of measles:

Check that the symptoms satisfy all of the clinical criteria:

  1. Generalised maculopapular rash (which usually begins on the face, before spreading to the rest of the body); AND
  2. Fever of at least 38 degrees still present at the time of rash onset; AND
  3. Cough or coryza or conjunctivitis or Koplik’s spots.
  • Notify the public health unit immediately of any case satisfying the clinical criteria.
  • Measles PCR of a naso-pharyngeal swab (in viral transport medium – not gel) and urine are appropriate in early illness.

Consider opportunistic vaccination for any unimmunised patients attending for any reason. All staff born on or after 1966 should have documented evidence of two doses of MMR.

Due to ongoing measles transmission overseas, it is particularly important for travellers who are not immune or unsure to get vaccinated before leaving Australia.

Infants travelling to countries in which measles is endemic, or where measles outbreaks are occurring, may be given MMR vaccine from as young as 9 months of age, after an individual risk assessment. In these cases, 2 further doses of MMR vaccine are still required. The next dose of MMR vaccine should be given at 12 months of age or 4 weeks after the 1st dose, whichever is later. This should be followed by the routine administration of the next dose of measles-containing vaccine, as MMRV vaccine, at 18 months of age.

For more information on the measles please visit: http://disease-control.health.qld.gov.au/Condition/767/measles.

Download a PDF version of this Measles alert - 28 May 2018 (PDF 124KB)

Yours sincerely

Dr Megan Young
Public Health Physician
Metro North Public Health Unit
28 May 2018