Measles case notified in Canberra

Acting ACT Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, is alerting the Canberra community to be aware of measles symptoms following confirmation of a case of measles by ACT Health.

Dr Coleman said the individual had acquired the infection on a recent overseas trip. No further cases linked to this one have been notified to ACT Health to date.

“The Health Protection Service (HPS) is following-up identified contacts in line with national guidelines,” Dr Coleman said.

“This includes members of the public who may have been exposed to the case while infectious on:

  • Friday, 24 August 2018 - South.Point (Tuggeranong Hyperdome) - food court and Bags to Go store.
  • Saturday 25 August 2018 - South.Point (Tuggeranong Hyperdome) - food court and Bags to Go store.
  • Sunday 26 August 2018 - Canberra Outlet Centre, Fyshwick - RM Williams and Canterbury stores.
  • Tuesday 28 August 2018, morning - South.Point (Tuggeranong Hyperdome) - Bags to Go store, Discount Drug Store and Woolworths.

“People who attended these premises at these times should be aware for signs and symptoms of measles from now until 15 September 2018.

“Anyone with symptoms of measles should seek medical advice, advising their health care provider before they arrive so that appropriate infection control precautions can be put in place to stop the spread of the infection,” Dr Coleman said.

The symptoms of measles may include fever, tiredness, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough, followed by a rash which appears 2-7 days later.

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 4 days before they develop a rash until 4 days after.

“Measles is a serious disease and is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised,” Dr Coleman said.

“The virus is spread from an infectious person during coughing and sneezing or through direct contact with secretions from the nose or mouth.

“Whenever a case of measles is identified in the ACT or surrounding regions, it is a strong reminder that the best way to protect yourself and your family against measles is vaccination.

“Two doses of Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine (MMR) are recommended and usually given to children at 12 and 18 months of age.

“I encourage everyone in the community to check their immunisation status and get up to date if needed,” Dr Coleman said.

ACT Health has information about measles online at: https://www.health.act.gov.au/sites/default/files//Fact%20sheets/Measles.pdf

Statement ends

Published date: 

Thursday, August 30, 2018