Queensland Health has issued a public health warning about a possible measles outbreak.

A Brisbane paramedic visited four local hospitals while unknowingly infected with the highly contagious condition.

Melanie Williams reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Doctors are on high alert for patients presenting with measles symptoms, including sneezing, coughing and a red blotchy rash.

It comes after a 32-year-old Brisbane paramedic continued working when he unknowingly had the disease.

Dr Jeanette Young, Queensland Chief Health Officer: “Measles is a very, very serious disease and unfortunately this poor gentleman who has contracted measles is actually now in hospital, very very unwell.”

The paramedic visited four separate hospitals, including:

The Princess Alexandra Hospital on the 11th and 12th of May.

Greenslopes Private Hospital on the 12th of May.

Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital on the 11th of May and the QE2 on the 12th May.

He potentially exposed thousands of Queenslanders to the disease.

Dr Gerard Fitzgerald, former Queensland Ambulance Service Commissioner: “I think it’d be very useful for all health workers, at the commencement of their employment, to ensure that their immunisation status is up-to-date.”

Experts say while some people object to vaccines, many others simply forget to renew their shots.

Dr Jeanette Young, Queensland Chief Health Officer: “We have a very, very effective vaccine available for measles. You need two doses of it for it to totally protect you.”

The paramedic is Queensland’s eighth case of measles this year.

Last year, there were 73 confirmed cases.

Anyone born after 1966 is eligible for a free measles vaccination; contact your GP.

Melanie Williams QUT News.