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Urgent advice for GPs: Eight (8) cases of measles now confirmed in the Ipswich area

December 09, 2019

Eight (8) cases of measles have now been confirmed in the Ipswich area. The large outbreak of measles is continuing in the Metro South Health area (southern Brisbane/Logan).

Vaccination offers the best protection against measles.

  • Please notify the West Moreton Public Health Unit immediately if suspicious of measles on 07 3818 4700 or after hours via the Princess Alexandra Hospital phone 07 3176 2111. The Public Health Unit will provide advice and recommendations on the follow up of the patient and contacts.
  • For a symptomatic patient who has phoned ahead to advise they may have been exposed to measles: where possible examine them at home or in a separate area outside of your usual practice space e.g. patient’s car. Avoid having the patient wait in or pass through a waiting area or other open/shared area.
  • For a patient presenting unannounced: triage patients with fever and rash to a room that can be left vacant for 30 minutes after consultation.
  • Ensure the patient is wearing a mask for the entire time in the practice or health facility, particularly if they need to walk through the practice or shared areas.
  • Ensure practice staff in contact with the suspected case are either fully vaccinated (2 doses of MMR) or have a serologically confirmed immunity to measles.
  • Please consider opportunistic Queensland Health-funded vaccination for all eligible patients and staff – those born after 1965 who do not have documented evidence of two doses of MMR vaccine or proven immunity to measles (noting specific advice for those under the age of 12 months).

Further details are in the Public Health Alert.

Suspected cases should be urgently notified to the local Public Health Unit.

The Australian Immunisation Handbook recommends that two doses of a measles-containing vaccine are required for protection against measles. NCIRS (National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance) has developed a guide to assist immunisation providers with decisions regarding measles vaccination catch-up for the Australian community.

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affecting Health Care practitioners in the Darling Downs and West Moreton Regions: