Tasmanian measles cases rise

MEASLES has continued to spread after three travellers brought the disease into Tasmania in the past month.

Population Health Services senior medical adviser Mark Veitch said there had been six confirmed cases and two suspected cases of measles in Tasmania since the start of July. 

They are the first cases of measles in the state since 2009.

Dr Veitch said three of the infections were caught overseas or interstate, and the remaining five were caught in Tasmania through close contact with the known cases.

‘‘Further cases of measles arising from the last of these recent cases remain possible for a few more days,’’ Dr Veitch said.

‘‘Information has been provided to people who may have had contact with recent cases so they can remain alert to measles symptoms.’’

Dr Veitch said the measles vaccine was recommended for children at the age of 12 months, with a second dose at 18 months.

He said anyone younger than 49 who was not sure they had received two doses of measles-containing vaccine should discuss getting a booster from their GP.

Dr Veitch said measles symptoms included fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes, with a red blotchy rash appearing about four days later.

‘‘If you or your child has symptoms of measles you should seek medical care as soon as possible,’’ Dr Veitch said.

‘‘You should contact the medical service before you attend to let them know you may have measles so they can plan your visit to prevent the infection spreading to staff and other patients.’’

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