Sunday, January 30, 2011

Several Measles Cases Reported in Brisbane with Potential Exposure to a Movie Theater and Mall

Queensland Health officials have reported that there are have been three distinct cases of measles in Brisbane over the past several weeks. One 21 year old man was known to have contracted the virus after disembarking from a flight in the city. Two other adolescent patients were traveling in India when they contracted the disease and had since returned to Brisbane before experiencing symptoms. Public Health officials are worried that all three may have passed the extremely infectious disease on to others. The 21 year old man visited a major shopping mall and was known to have made several transactions in addition to eating at the food court during his infectious period. One of the adolescents visited a movie theater during his infectious period. The other adolescent visited Stamford Village and went shopping at a grocery store.

Because measles is so contagious (R0 = 15-18), it is very likely that one or all of these individuals passed measles on to a new host. While vaccination coverage for measles has been high in Australia, worries about Autism have caused vaccination for measles and other diseases to decline in the same manner as in other parts of the world. Based on the incubation period for measles, 10 days, individuals who became infected at the mall will soon begin to show symptoms. Queensland health officials are urging all individuals with potential exposure to get an additional vaccination and to watch for the symptoms of the disease. Health officials are currently in a 'wait and see' mood to determine if this will become an outbreak, or if vaccination levels were effective at creating herd immunity.


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