A 32-year-old Brisbane paramedic is in hospital in a serious condition after being diagnosed with measles, sparking a public health scare.
The paramedic worked while he was unknowingly infectious between 10 May and 12 May, and may have come into contact with people while off-duty between 10 May and 18 May. Health officials have estimated that up to 4500 people could be at risk of contracting measles after coming in contact with the man.
The paramedic attended the following hospitals while infectious:
The Princess Alexandra Hospital
11/5: 7.45pm to 9.30pm and 11.15pm to 12.15am
12/5: 5.45am to 8.10am
Greenslopes Private Hospital
12/5: 12.15am to 1.30am
The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital
11/5: 9.30pm to 10.30pm
The QE II Hospital
12/5: 4am to 5.15am
The paramedic also caught the barge to Moreton Island at 7am on 14 May and returned to the mainland late in the evening on 18 May.
Queensland Health is contacting staff and patients the man may have come into contact with while infectious.
Measles is a highly infectious disease that is spread from person to person by droplets during coughing and sneezing. Measles can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
You are generally considered to be immune to measles if:
- You were born before 1 January 1966; or
- You have had two documented doses of a measles containing vaccine; or
- You have measles immunity proven on blood testing; or
- You have had the measles disease before.
If you were born on or after 1 January 1966 and have received one documented dose of a measles containing vaccine, Queensland Health recommends you receive another measles vaccination. The vaccine is free for anyone who has been born since 1966.
Measles symptoms include a fever and a red, spotty rash, which will appear before you begin to feel seriously unwell.
Queensland Health is urging anyone who may have come into contact with the officer to be alert and to contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or their general practitioner if they have any concerns.