A statewide alert has been raised following the diagnosis of a Central Queensland mine worker with measles.
Queensland Health’s communicable diseases unit acting senior director Stephen Lambert stated that the Moranbah mine worker had contact with several mining colleagues and others over the past few weeks. Investigators are concerned that he may have infected others.
He said many of the mine workers had returned to homes throughout Queensland.
Dr Lambert said measles was a serious infection, particularly in children too young to be immunised.
“Up to one-third of young adults who are infected will be hospitalised,” he said.
The Moranbah mine worker who has triggered the measles alert is believed to have contracted the virus while holidaying in Asia.
Dr Lambert said the man had been in the dining room of Moranbah’s Grosvenor Village camp in the last week of April.
He said Queensland Health was asking anyone who may have been exposed to the virus to seek medical advice if symptoms developed.
They should alert their general practitioners they may have measles before attending the clinic.
“Measles is one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases and is spread by tiny droplets through coughing and sneezing,” Dr Lambert said.
Symptoms usually start around 10 days after becoming infected and include a fever, lethargy, runny nose, a cough and sore, red eyes followed by a blotchy red rash.
Measles complications can include pneumonia and inflammation of the brain. The infection can occasionally be fatal.
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