Queenslanders have been warned about the dangers of measles and overseas travel after more than half of the 12 cases already diagnosed this year were linked to overseas trips.
Health officials say people born after 1965 – especially those planning overseas travel – should have two doses of the measles vaccine to ensure they’re fully protected.
Dr Jonathan Malo of the communicable diseases branch says people who travel abroad without having had two doses are at a higher risk of contracting the infection.
“The majority of measles cases we do see are from people who go travelling overseas and then come back to Queensland where the infection can be further spread among those who are not immune,” he told reporters on Monday.
“It can be a very serious illness and that’s why people die all around the world from measles.”
Of the 12 confirmed measles cases in Queensland in 2019, three were contracted overseas.
But they infected a further five people once they returned home.
Two other cases were contracted interstate and one of these cases infected another person on return to Queensland.
“There is a group of people born from 1966 to 1994 where there was only one dose containing the measles vaccine provided – that’s the group at higher risk,” Dr Malo said.
The MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is free in Queensland and anybody unsure if they’ve had two doses should visit their GP to get a shot, he said.
In 2018, 14 cases of measles were confirmed in Queensland.
Australian Associated Press