Second measles case notified in Canberra

Released 02/11/2017

ACT Chief Health Officer, Dr Paul Kelly, is alerting the Canberra community to confirmation of a second case of measles this year.

Dr Kelly said that although at this time there appears to be no obvious link with a case notified in October 2017, ACT Health is still investigating this and the community should be aware of measles symptoms.

“The Health Protection Service are following up people known to have been in contact with this latest case of measles,” Dr Kelly Said.

“As this individual has visited several public locations in Canberra while infectious, it will not be possible to identify and contact all people who may have been exposed.

“That’s why we have the dates and places the person is known to have visited on the ACT Health website and we encourage the community to visit the website and view this information.

“We also strongly encourage people who were in the same locations as the latest case to keep a close watch for symptoms. These include fever, tiredness, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough, followed by a rash, which appears 2-7 days later.

“For anyone with symptoms of measles who needs to seek medical advice, they should also advise their health care provider before they arrive at the medical clinic so that appropriate infection control precautions can be put in place to stop the spread of the infection,” Dr Kelly said.

Measles is a serious disease and is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised. People generally develop symptoms 7-18 days after being exposed to a person with infectious measles, with 10 days being more common.  People are infectious from 5 days before they develop a rash until 4 days after. The virus is spread from an infectious person during coughing and sneezing or through direct contact with secretions from the nose or mouth.

“With a second case of measles in Canberra confirmed in two weeks, I am strongly advising the community the best way to protect yourself and your family against measles is vaccination,” Dr Kelly said.

“Those who have upcoming overseas travel should check their immunisation status and get up to date if needed and this vaccine is free for anyone in the ACT who have not received two doses of the vaccine.”

Two doses of Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine (MMR) are recommended to provide adequate immunity, and although the vaccine is normally given to children at 12 months and 18 months of age, it can be given at any age after 9 months.

Information on dates and places the individual is known to have visited can be found on the ACT Health website at: http://www.health.act.gov.au/public-information/public-health/public-health-alerts

Information about measles can be found at: www.health.act.gov.au/publications-reports/fact-sheets/measles

Statement ends Media contact: ACT Health Media M 0403 344 080   E healthmedia@act.gov.au

- Statement ends -

Section: ACT Health Directorate | Media Releases


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