Tropical Public Health Services (Cairns) has issued a measles alert after a confirmed case of the illness in Cairns.


Infectious Diseases Physician, Dr Trent Yarwood, said the case presented to two local general practices on Sunday 1 March and Monday 2 March, displaying symptoms consistent with measles.

“The case also attended the Stocklands Earlville Shopping Centre on 1 and 2 March, as well as the Cairns Hospital Emergency Department on 2 March,” Dr Yarwood said.

“Staff from the general practices and Cairns Hospital will be contacting people who may potentially have been exposed.”

Measles is a highly infectious illness that primarily affects the respiratory tract. It can be a severe disease complicated by pneumonia.

The illness is usually non-specific in the first two to four days and includes fever followed by conjunctivitis, a runny nose and cough.

A characteristic red blotchy rash appears two to seven days after the first onset of symptoms and begins on the face and upper neck, becomes generalised and lasts for four to seven days.

Vaccination with two doses of MMR vaccine is the most effective means of protecting yourself against measles. MMR vaccination for those born in/after 1966 is available free from your GP or child health centre.

Dr Yarwood said anyone displaying these symptoms should call ahead before visiting doctors’ rooms, hospital EDs or pathology services.