Seven students at the University of Queensland in Australia have contracted measles and health authorities are preparing for more cases.
Metro North Public Health Unit physician James Smith has advised UQ students who are ill to avoid attending school, work and social events, as well as visiting public places such as shopping centers, to avoid spreading the highly contagious disease, Courier Mail reported.
Smith said the latest case is a student from UQ’s St. Lucia campus who arrived in Brisbane on Aug. 15 onboard Singapore Airlines flight SQ235.
Another patient had been spotted in Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, on the weekend of August 15 and 16. He was also seen at Cow Hotel on the night of August 15 and had breakfast at Toowoomba Sizzlers between 8:30 and 10:30 am on August 16.
Health authorities have listed down the places that the others patients went into, including Indooroopilly Shopping Centre on August 13, the Royal Exchange Hotel on August 15, and at the Taringa Day and Night Medical Centre on August 16, ABC News noted.
Smith advised UQ students and members of the public who visited those sites to be on alert for symptoms of measles.
According to Courier Mail, the measles outbreak began when an UQ student brought the virus back from Indonesia last month.
The outbreak at the campus has prompted Queensland Health to set up a vaccination clinic at UQ, ABC News reported.
Measles is a highly infectious disease and occasionally dangerous complications may arise such as pneumonia and encephalitis.
According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, early signs of measles include high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.
Tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth, two or three days after early symptoms begin. These are followed by a red, spotty rash few days later. At this point, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104°F, CDC added.
The symptoms generally appear between seven to 14 days after a person has been infected.
Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. The virus can be transmitted to other people by a person who did not receive MMR shot.