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Measles alert

Queensland Health has issued a measles alert after a passenger travelled on an international flight to Brisbane while infectious.

The young man from New Zealand travelled on Virgin Airlines flight VA46 from Denpasar, Bali to Brisbane, arriving on Sunday 24 July 2016.

The passenger spent time in the Brisbane Transit Lounge before taking a connecting flight on the same day from Brisbane to Wellington (Virgin Airlines flight VA104).

Acting Executive Director, Communicable Diseases Dr Heidi Carroll said fellow travellers needed to be alert for the symptoms of measles.

"The initial symptoms of measles include fever, lethargy, runny nose, moist cough and sore and red eyes," she said.

"This is followed a few days later by a blotchy, red rash which often starts on the face and then becomes widespread over the body."

Dr Carroll said the symptoms usually started around 10 days after contact with the infectious person, but was known to occur between seven and 18 days after contact.

"We would expect that anyone who has caught measles as a result of this contact would be starting to show symptoms now, or over the next few days."

She advised people who may have come into contact with the patient, who are uncertain of their immunity to measles, to speak with their GP immediately.

"Measles is one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases and is spread by tiny droplets through coughing and sneezing, but is actually infectious for four days before the rash appears."

"Please see your doctor if you may have had contact with this person and have since developed any of the symptoms.

"It is very important to call the medical practice first if you think you might have measles, so that staff can take precautions to avoid spreading it to others."

Dr Carroll particularly urged other travellers to check their vaccination status before leaving.

"We encourage people to check if they need to be vaccinated against measles if they are planning any overseas travel."

"We recommend anyone born during or since 1966, who has not had two documented doses of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine and has not had proven measles, should visit their family doctor to get vaccinated.

"The vaccine is free for anyone who requires it."

For more information on the measles virus visit the Queensland Health website or speak to a registered nurse at 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) any time, any day.

Last updated: 24 August 2016