Published On: Mon, Jan 13th, 2014

Australia: Queensland Health issues Rubella alert

Queensland Health has been notified of a case of Rubella virus, with the patient having traveled on international and domestic flights.

Queensland’s Acting Director of Communicable Diseases Dr Alun Richards said this person traveled from South Africa to Brisbane via Sydney at the beginning of their infectious period but appeared well during the flights.



The patient flew from Johannesburg to Sydney on 25 December 2013 at 1750 arriving at 1445 on Qantas Flight 64.

They then traveled from Sydney to Brisbane on 26 December on flight Qantas flight 542 departing Sydney at 1735 and arriving in Brisbane at 1805. They may also have been in contact with other interstate passengers at the Brisbane airport.

Dr Richards said people are encouraged to notify their family and friends if they traveled on the flights noted above.

“In most cases, Rubella (also known as the German Measles) is a mild illness, but it can be a serious disease if contracted by pregnant women as it can cause serious birth defects if infection occurs during early pregnancy,” he said.

“We normally see about six cases of Rubella per year, so it is not a common disease anymore.

“This is a timely reminder for people to get vaccinated against Rubella as this case demonstrates this virus is still circulating in our community,” Dr Richards said.

Rubella or German measles is a mild, febrile viral disease characterized by a rash and fever. The rash is clinically indistinguishable from those produced by measles, parvovirus B19 and scarlet fever. This highly communicable disease is contagious from about 1 week before and four days after onset of the rash.

Rubella is important because of its ability to cause problems with the developing fetus. Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) can cause miscarriage; and mental retardation, deafness or cataracts and otherbirth defects in the newborn.

For more information read the Rubella factsheet

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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