The number of infected patients has now risen to seven, prompting Queensland Health to issue a further warning to Brisbane residents.

Today the Metro North Public Health Unit (PHU) confirmed that a seventh student has contracted the highly contagious disease.

Queensland Health warns that the outbreak is likely to spread across Brisbane after the most recent patient took an international flight.

On Saturday 15 August the latest patient arrived into Brisbane on Singapore Airlines flight SQ235, drastically widening the perimeter of infection that was previously limited to the University and surrounding suburbs.

Physician from PHU Dr James Smith said that the measles infection lasts for about four days before a rash develops, and thus none of the affected patients realised that they were highly infected when they were on campus and around the community.

“This means we expect to see further measles cases from contact with these individuals”, he said.

“Symptoms usually start around 10 days after contact, but can occur between seven and 18 days after contact with an infectious person.”

Symptoms of early onset measles are similar to the flu and can cause fever, coughing, runny nose and dry or itchy eyes. Long term affects can be serious including pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

The PHU has advised that people who are unwell or showing symptoms should avoid public places such as university campuses, work places, shopping centres and social events.

“If you do need to seek treatment, it is important to call the medical practice first to say you could have measles, so that staff can take precautions to avoid spreading the disease to others,” Dr Smith said.