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Highschool quarantined due to measles outbreak
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Queensland Health will screen more than 1000 staff and students at a Sunshine Coast high school following the second outbreak of measles in South East Queensland in as many months.
Pupils and teachers at Beerwah State High School will be screen by 20 Queensland Health nurses at a testing station set up at the town's community centre after several cases of the contagious disease were confirmed at the school on Friday.
It follows an outbreak of measles in January at a secondary college in Brisbane.
There are two confirmed and four suspected measles cases at Beerwah. Three of the four suspected measles sufferers were reportedly not vaccinated.
Sunshine Coast Education regional executive director Rob McAlpine said all students were being encouraged to attend school to be screened today, and only those who had not been vaccinated would be asked to remain at home.
Parents are being asked to provide evidence their children had received at least two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine so they can resume classes immediately.
Any child who has not been vaccinated will be given homework and asked to stay away until March 12.
Mr McAlpine said the school had been contacting parents and students to ensure they showed up for screening.
He said some had stayed away following inaccurate media reports.
"We want to get a consistent message to parents," Mr McAlpine said.
"Every student is being encouraged to come to school so they can undergo a screening process and that process is well underway.
"Only those who haven't been vaccinated will stay at home."
An immunisation clinic at Beerwah's community centre, 250 metres from the school, will be set up and students who want to be immunised will be escorted there.
Those students who receive their first dose of the MMR vaccine today, will not be able to return to school for 14 days.
Students at Brisbane State High School were advised to receive a precautionary dose of the MMR vaccine in January, after one person associated with the school came down with the disease.
Three teenagers died as a result of a measles infection during a major outbreak in Queensland in 1994.
Repercussions of the disease include pneumonia and inflammation of the brain.
Initial symptoms of measles are fever, lethargy, a runny nose, coughing and sore, red eyes followed by a red blotchy rash. The rash starts on the face and then spreads.
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