Health authorities are warning people to get vaccinated, as a measles outbreak sweeps southeast Queensland.

The outbreak has seen four times more cases than last year.

Victoria Harrison reports.


Today, the health message was simple; see your GP if you’ve not been vaccinated against the potentially deadly measles virus.

Dr Jeannette Young, Qld Chief Medical Officer: “If you’re not vaccinated and you’re exposed to someone with measles you’ll get it.”

Queensland Health has tracked the source of the outbreak to travellers who’ve returned from The Philippines and Italy since August.

Dr Brad McCall, Qld Public Heath Officer: “Measles begins in Australia through the importation of cases usually from travellers abroad who pick up measles and bring it back into the country.”

It’s one of the world’s leading causes of death among young children, but around ten per cent of Queensland kids haven’t been vaccinated.

In 2009, 32 people in the Sunshine Coast area alone were affected with measles. This highly contagious disease is very easily spread in public places. Just one cough from an infected person is enough to spread it.

While the most commonly recognised symptom of the virus is a full-body rash, the first signs of the infection are usually a hacking cough, runny nose, high fever, and red eyes.

Dr Brad McCall, Qld Public Heath Officer: “The message is really important for people to check their immunity against measles.”

For more information call the Health Hotline, 13 43 25 84.

Victoria Harrison, QUT News.